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

UN: 1 Million Somalis at Risk of Hunger

Group warns region is in dire need of humanitarian aid, with at least 200,000 children under age of five acutely malnourished as drought hits southern, central part of nation More

Human Rights Groups Allege Supression of Freedoms in Thailand

Thailand’s military, police have suppressed release of independent report assessing human rights in kingdom during first 100 days of latest coup More

Jennifer Lawrence Contacts FBI After Nude Photos Hacked

'Silver Linings Playbook' actress' photos were posted on image-sharing forum 4chan; Federal Bureau of Investigations is looking into matter More

Featured Videos

Your JavaScript is turned off or you have an old version of Adobe's Flash Player. Get the latest Flash player.
Ukraine Schools Resume Classes, Donate to Government Forcesi
X
September 02, 2014 12:58 PM
A new school year has started in Ukraine but thousands of children in the war-torn east are unable to attend because of ongoing clashes with pro-Russia rebels. In Ukraine's capital, patriotic education has become the norm along with donations to support injured security forces fighting to take back rebel-held areas. VOA's Daniel Schearf reports from Kyiv.
Video

Video Ukraine Schools Resume Classes, Donate to Government Forces

A new school year has started in Ukraine but thousands of children in the war-torn east are unable to attend because of ongoing clashes with pro-Russia rebels. In Ukraine's capital, patriotic education has become the norm along with donations to support injured security forces fighting to take back rebel-held areas. VOA's Daniel Schearf reports from Kyiv.
Video

Video US Detainees Want Negotiators for Freedom in North Korea

The three U.S. detainees held in North Korea were permitted to speak with foreign media Monday. The government of Kim Jong Un restricted the topics of the questions, and the interviews in Pyongyang were limited to five minutes. Each of the men asked Washington to send a representative to Pyongyang to secure his release. VOA’s Carolyn Presutti has our story.
Video

Video Internet, Technology Offer New Tools for Journalists

The Internet and rapidly evolving technology is quickly changing how people receive news and how journalists deliver it. There are now more ways to tell a story than ever before. One school in Los Angeles is teaching the next generation of journalists with the help of a state-of-the-art newsroom. Elizabeth Lee has this report.
Video

Video Turkmen From Amerli Describe Survival of IS Siege

Over the past few weeks, hundreds of Shi'ite Turkmen have fled the town of Amerli seeking refuge in the northern city of Kirkuk. Despite recent military gains after U.S. airstrikes that were coordinated with Iraqi and Kurdish forces, the situation remains dire for Amerli’s residents. Sebastian Meyer went to Kirkuk for VOA to speak to those who managed to escape.
Video

Video West Africa Ebola Vaccine Trials Possible by Early 2015

A U.S. health agency is speeding up clinical trials of a possible vaccine against the deadly Ebola virus that so far has killed more than 1,500 people in West Africa. If successful, the next step would be a larger trial in countries where the outbreak is occurring. VOA's Carol Pearson has more.
Video

Video Survivors Commemorate 70th Anniversary of Nazi Liquidation of Jewish Ghetto

When the German Nazi army occupied the Polish city of Lodz in 1939, it marked the beginning of a long nightmare for the Jewish community that once made up one third of the population. Roughly 200,000 people were forced into the Lodz Ghetto. Less than 7,000 survived. As VOA’s Kane Farabaugh reports, some survivors gathered at the Union League Club in Chicago on the 70th anniversary of the liquidation of the Lodz Ghetto to remember those who suffered at the hands of the Nazi regime.
Video

Video Cost to Raise Child in US Continues to Rise

The cost of raising a child in the United States continues to rise. In its latest annual report, the U.S. Department of Agriculture says middle income families with a child born in 2013 can expect to spend more than $240,000 before that child turns 18. And sending that child to college more than doubles that amount. VOA’s Deborah Block visited with a couple with one child in Alexandria, Virginia, to learn if the report reflects their lifestyle.
Video

Video Chaotic Afghan Vote Recount Threatens Nation’s Future

Afghanistan’s troubled presidential election continues to be rocked by turmoil as an audit of the ballots drags on. The U.N. says the recount will not be completed before September 10. Observers say repeated disputes and delays are threatening the orderly transfer of power and could have dangerous consequences. VOA correspondent Meredith Buel reports.

AppleAndroid