News / Europe

Russian Psychiatric Institution Fire Kills At Least 38

Ministry for Emergency Situations workers and fire fighters work at a site of a fire of a psychiatric hospital, April 26, 2013.
Ministry for Emergency Situations workers and fire fighters work at a site of a fire of a psychiatric hospital, April 26, 2013.
At least 38 people are dead after a fire quickly spread through a one-story, wooden psychiatric facility north of Moscow. Russian investigators believe that the blaze may have been caused by a short circuit.

Russia’s emergency officials say the fire quickly swept through the building overnight Moscow time, engulfing the structure in flames.

Officials say many of the patients, ages 20-76, were heavily sedated due to severe mental issues.  Those who were able to wake up tried to escape the flames through the windows, but many of them had bars on them.  Russia’s Emergency Ministry says that some of the windows had bars due to safety rules, but it is not known why other windows were blocked.

Village of Ramensky, south of Moscow, RussiaVillage of Ramensky, south of Moscow, Russia
x
Village of Ramensky, south of Moscow, Russia
Village of Ramensky, south of Moscow, Russia
Officials believe the blaze was caused by a short circuit and or lax safety standards.

When Russian Prime Minister Dmitry Medvedev was president, he vowed stricter safety standards and improvements, saying it was vital for Russia’s modernization effort.

Masha Lipman is a political analyst with the Carnegie Center here in Moscow. She says the government always comes out after a big disaster to show its support but the safety situation in Russia remains dire. "There's all this talk about responsibility and improvements of technological standards, but it's the legacy of an unaccountable government," she said.

Russian officials continue to investigate the blaze and sift through debris.

Russia is no stranger to disasters. In 2011, more than 10 thousand people died in fires across the former Soviet Union. In the first nine months of 2012, more than 75,000 people died.

  • Russian emergency service staff work at the site of a fire at a psychiatric hospital in the village of Ramensky, north of Moscow, April 26, 2013.
  • Russian emergency service staff spray water and remove remains at the site of a fire at a psychiatric hospital in the village of Ramensky, north of Moscow, April 26, 2013.
  • Russian emergency service staff work at the site of a fire at a psychiatric hospital in the village of Ramensky, north of Moscow, April 26, 2013.
  • This image taken from video footage provided by the Russian Emergencies Ministry shows a fire at a psychiatric hospital north of Moscow, April 26, 2013 .
  • Two police officers stand outside a psychiatric hospital that caught on fire outside Moscow, April 26, 2013.

You May Like

Turkey: No Ransom Paid for Release of Hostages Held by IS Militants

President Erdogan hails release of hostages as diplomatic success but declines to be drawn on whether their release freed Ankara's hand to take more active stance against insurgents More

Audio Sierra Leone Official Pleased With Ebola Containment Measure

Official says three-day sensitization effort will help reduce infection rate of Ebola disease nationwide More

US Pivot to Asia Demands Delicate Balancing Act

As the tumult in the Middle East distracts Obama, shifting American focus eastward appears threatened More

Featured Videos

Your JavaScript is turned off or you have an old version of Adobe's Flash Player. Get the latest Flash player.
Fears Ebola Outbreak ‘Beyond Our Capability to Contain’i
X
Jeff Seldin
September 20, 2014 10:28 PM
Each day brings with it new warnings about the deadly Ebola outbreak already blamed for killing more than 2,600 people across West Africa. And while countries and international organizations like the United Nations are starting to come through on promises of help for those most affected, the unprecedented speed with which the virus has spread is raising questions about the international response. VOA's Jeff Seldin has more from Washington.
Video

Video Fears Ebola Outbreak ‘Beyond Our Capability to Contain’

Each day brings with it new warnings about the deadly Ebola outbreak already blamed for killing more than 2,600 people across West Africa. And while countries and international organizations like the United Nations are starting to come through on promises of help for those most affected, the unprecedented speed with which the virus has spread is raising questions about the international response. VOA's Jeff Seldin has more from Washington.
Video

Video Iran, World Powers Seek Progress in Nuclear Talks

Iran and the five permanent members of the U.N. Security Council plus Germany, known as the P5 + 1, have started a new round of talks on Iran's nuclear program. VOA State Department correspondent Pam Dockins reports that as the negotiations take place in New York, a U.S. envoy is questioning Iran's commitment to peaceful nuclear activity.
Video

Video Obama Goes to UN With Islamic State, Ebola on Agenda

President Obama goes to the United Nations General Assembly to rally nations to support a coalition against Islamic State militants in Iraq and Syria. He also will look for nations to back his plan to fight the Ebola virus in West Africa. As VOA White House correspondent Luis Ramirez reports, Obama’s efforts reflect new moves by the U.S. administration to take a leading role in addressing world crises.
Video

Video Migrants Caught in No-Man's Land Called Calais

The deaths of hundreds of migrants in the Mediterranean this week has only recast the spotlight on the perils of reaching Europe. And for those forunate enough to reach a place like Calais, France, only find that their problems aren't over. Lisa Bryant has the story.
Video

Video Westgate Siege Anniversary Brings Back Painful Memories

One year after it happened, the survivors of the terror attack on Nairobi's Westgate Shopping Mall still cannot shake the images of that tragic incident. For VOA, Mohammed Yusuf tells the story of victims still waiting for the answer to the question 'how could this happen?'
Video

Video Militant Assault in Syria Displaces Thousands of Kurds

A major assault by Islamic State militants on Kurds in Syria has sent a wave of new refugees to the Turkish border, where they were stopped by Turkish border security. Turkey is already hosting about 700,000 Syrian refugees who fled the civil war between the government and the opposition. But the government in Ankara has a history of strained relations with Turkey's Kurdish minority. Zlatica Hoke reports Turkey is asking for international help.
Video

Video Whaling Summit Votes to Uphold Ban on Japan Whale Hunt

The International Whaling Commission, meeting in Slovenia, has voted to uphold a court ruling banning Japan from hunting whales in the Antarctic Ocean. Conservationists hailed the ruling as a victory, but Tokyo says it will submit revised plans for a whale hunt in 2015. Henry Ridgwell reports from London.
Video

Video A Dinosaur Fit for Land and Water

Residents and tourists in Washington D.C. can now examine a life-size replica of an unusual dinosaur that lived almost a hundred million years ago in northern Africa. Scientists say studying the behemoth named Spinosaurus helps them better understand how some prehistoric animals adapted to life on land and in water. The Spinosaurus replica is on display at the National Geographic museum. VOA’s George Putic has more.
Video

Video Iraqi Kurdistan Church Helps Christian Children Cope find shelter in churches in the Kurdish capital, Irbil

In the past six weeks, tens of thousands of Iraqi Christians have been forced to flee their homes by Islamic State militants and find shelter in churches in the Kurdish capital, Irbil. Despite U.S. airstrikes in the region, the prospect of people returning home is still very low and concerns are starting to grow over the impact this is having on the displaced youth. Sebastian Meyer reports from Irbil on how one church is coping.


Carnage and mayhem are part of daily life in northern Nigeria, the result of a terror campaign by the Islamist group Boko Haram. Fears are growing that Nigeria’s government may not know how to counter it, and may be making things worse. More

AppleAndroid