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

Video Is West Doing Enough to Tackle Islamic State?

There is growing uncertainty over whether West’s response to ISIS is adequate More

China Crackdown on Dual Citizens Causes Concern

New policy encourages reporting people who obtain citizenship in another country, but retain Chinese citizenship; move spurs sharp debate More

Video Coalition to Fight Islamic State Could Reward Assad

Losing ground to Islamic State fighters, Syria's government says it is ready to cooperate with international community More

Featured Videos

Your JavaScript is turned off or you have an old version of Adobe's Flash Player. Get the latest Flash player.
Is West Doing Enough to Tackle Islamic State?i
X
Henry Ridgwell
August 29, 2014 12:26 AM
U.S. President Barack Obama has ruled out sending ground troops to Iraq to fight militants of the so-called Islamic State, or ISIS, despite officials in Washington describing the extremist group as the biggest threat the United States has faced in years. Henry Ridgwell reports from London on the growing uncertainty over whether the West’s response to ISIS will be enough to defeat the terrorist threat.
Video

Video Is West Doing Enough to Tackle Islamic State?

U.S. President Barack Obama has ruled out sending ground troops to Iraq to fight militants of the so-called Islamic State, or ISIS, despite officials in Washington describing the extremist group as the biggest threat the United States has faced in years. Henry Ridgwell reports from London on the growing uncertainty over whether the West’s response to ISIS will be enough to defeat the terrorist threat.
Video

Video Pachyderms Play Polo to Raise Money for Elephants

Polo, the ancient team competition typically played on horseback, is known as the “sport of kings.” However, the royal version for one annual event in Thailand swaps the horse for the kingdom’s national symbol - the elephant. VOA Correspondent Steve Herman in Samut Prakan reports that the King’s Cup Elephant Polo tournament is all for a good cause.
Video

Video Coalition to Fight Islamic State Could Reward Assad

The United States along with European and Mideast allies are considering a broader assault against Islamic State fighters who have spread from Syria into Iraq and risk further destabilizing an already troubled region. But as VOA State Department Correspondent Scott Stearns reports, confronting those militants could end up helping the embattled Syrian President Bashar al-Assad.
Video

Video Made in America Socks Get Toehold in Online Fashion Market

Three young entrepreneurs are hoping to revolutionize the high-end sock industry by introducing all-American creations of their own. And they’re doing most of it the old-fashioned way. VOA’s Julie Taboh recently caught up with them to learn what goes into making their one-of-a-kind socks.
Video

Video Americans, Ex-Pats Send Relief Supplies to West Africa

Health organizations from around the world are sending supplies and specialists to the West African countries that are dealing with the worst Ebola outbreak in history. On a smaller scale, ordinary Americans and African expatriates living in the United States are doing the same. VOA's Carol Pearson reports.
Video

Video America's Most Popular Artworks Displayed in Public Places

Public places in cities across America were turned into open-air art galleries in August. Pictures of the nation’s most popular artworks were displayed on billboards, bus shelters, subway platforms and more. The idea behind “Art Everywhere,” a collaborative campaign by five major museums is to allow more people to enjoy art and learn about the country’s culture and history. Faiza Elmasry has more.
Video

Video Chinese Doctors Use 3-D Spinal Implant

A Chinese boy suffering from a debilitating bone disease has become the first patient with a part of his spine created in a three-dimensional printer. Doctors say he will soon regain normal mobility. VOA’s George Putic reports.
Video

Video Uneasy Calm Settles Over Israel, Gaza Strip

Israel and the Gaza Strip have been calm since a cease-fire set in Tuesday evening, ending seven weeks of hostilities. Hamas, which controls Gaza, declared victory. Israelis were more wart. VOA’s Scott Bobb reports from Jerusalem.
Video

Video India’s Leprosy Battle Stymied by Continuing Stigma

Medical advancements in the treatment of leprosy have greatly diminished its impact around the world, largely eliminating the disease from most countries. India made great strides in combating leprosy, but still accounts for a majority of the world’s new cases each year, and the number of newly infected Indians is rising - more than 130,000 recorded last year. Doctors there say the problem has more to do with society than science. Shaikh Azizur Rahman reports from Kolkata.
Video

Video Scientists Unlock Mystery of Bird Flocks

How can flocks of birds, schools of fish or herds of antelope suddenly change direction -- all the individuals adjusting their movement in concert, at seemingly the same time? British researchers now have some insights into this behavior, which has puzzled scientists for a long time. VOA's George Putic has more.

AppleAndroid