- (Photo: Reuters/Tatyana Makeyeva)
38 peopled have died in a fire at a mental hospital just outside Moscow early on Friday morning, according to reports.
As the fire swept through the psychiatric hospital many of the victims were sedated and sleeping in bed, according to officials.
The institution has been described as a brick and wood hospital building that housed patients diagnosed with severe mental disorders, a Russian Health Ministry official has said.
The fire is said to have started in a wooden annex and then spread to the main brick area of the building, which also had big wooden beams in, an Emergencies Ministry official has told the Associated Press.
Yuri Deshevykh of the Emergencies Ministry has described to RIA Novosti that many of the patients were under sedatives and did not wake up. It is believed at least 29 people were burned alive, with 38 dead in total including 2 doctors at the facility. The victims were aged between 20 to 76 years old.
If has been claimed by officials that none of the hospital doors were locked inside the building, although the hospital did have barred windows.
It took firefighters an hour to even get to the hospital because at the time of the emergency call a ferry across the canal to the location was closed and forced them to make a large detour.
Earlier this year in January a fire in an underground parking lot in Russia killed 10 migrant workers from Tajikistan. It was found that they were working and living there at the time. Russia has been criticized for its poor safety record over recent years, and according to AP had about 12,000 deaths reported from fire-related incidents last year alone.
Here is a video news report into the fire: