Russian investigators probe fatal psychiatric hospital fire
MOSCOW, September 13 (RAPSI) – The Investigative Committee on Friday initiated a criminal case after a fatal blaze destroyed a psychiatric hospital outside the central Russian city of Veliky Novgorod, the committee’s spokesman Vladmir Markin told the journalists.
The case was was initiated under the criminal negligence and manslaughter articles of the Criminal Code. There are no suspects in the investigation as of now, the spokesman added.
A source in the local Interior Ministry’s department said earlier that the fire completely destroyed the building and 15 people were missing, adding that “chances are that they are dead.”
This incident is another in a chain of fires at mental institutions across Russia this year despite efforts by authorities to bolster fire safety at hospitals specializing in the treatment of mental disorders.
The deadliest fire at a mental institution this year took place on April 2 after an early morning blaze in the town of Ramensky north of Moscow killed 38, including two nurses. Only three people survived the fire.
Two more separate fires took place in May at psychiatric hospitals in central Russia’s Tambov region and in southern Krasnodar Territory.
The deadly fire in the Ramensky clinic prompted President Vladimir Putin to call for a closer look at fire safety in hospitals across the country.