Explosion in Russian nightclub kills at least 94

Sunday, December 6, 2009

An explosion yesterday in a Russian nightclub killed at least 94 people and injured a further 139, according to police reports. The incident happened in the "Lame Horse" bar in the city of Perm near the Ural mountains.

According to the regional security minister, Igor Orlov, the club's plastic ceiling caught fire, ignited by firecrackers. Security officials, however, commented that the blast could not have been terrorism. "We are not talking about a terrorist attack, we are talking about a failure to observe fire regulations," said an official for an investigative body, as quoted by the ITAR-TASS news agency.

A reporter for the Al Jazeera news agency remarked: "Officials have been cited as saying that the incident may have been caused by pyrotechnics that caused an explosion leading to a significant loss of life."

"The majority of the deaths were the result of burns or gas inhalation. Along with this, there was a crush at the exit," said a spokesman for a Russian investigative body, Vladimir Markin, as quoted by RIA Novosti. According to RIA, the emergencies ministry stated that "the blast went off at 23:15 Moscow time [20:15 UTC]."