At least eight people die in office fire in Vladivostok, Russia

Wednesday, January 18, 2006

At least eight people have died in a fire in a multi-storied office center, namely, in the office belonging to the Russian Savings Bank (Sberbank), in the Russian Pacific port city of Vladivostok, the Russian Emergency Situations Ministry said Monday.

A spokesman said that the blaze broke at about 12:00 local time (02:00 UTC) on the sixth floor of the building. Some of the victims died when they jumped out windows in an attempt to escape the flames. In addition to the fatalities, another 15 people were hospitalized with burns and injuries.

According to firefighters, serious breaches of fire-safety regulations were partly to blame for the deaths. A door to the attic was locked and people could not escape through an emergency exit.

The fire has been almost extinguished. A team of investigators led by the deputy prosecutor of the Maritime Territory, Sergei Luchaninov, is looking into how the fire started.