Source AP ©

Fire at shabby nursing home in Russia kills 23 elderly people

A fire at a nursing home in Russia has killed at least 23 people, an emergency official said Monday.

The blaze broke out Sunday at a nursing home in the Tula region, south of Moscow, that fire inspectors had asked courts to order closed because of fire safety violations, including the lack of an alarm system, Emergency Situations Ministry spokesman Viktor Beltsov said.

About 300 people were evacuated from the home. All of them were accommodated in hospitals of the region.

The fire broke out at the upper floor of the shabby building. More than 1,500 square meters of the wooden building were enveloped in fire very quickly.

Most likely, the fire broke out as a result of the short circuit or casual handling with the fire. There was no fire alarm in the old building. “The arson is not likely,” a spokesperson for the local law-enforcement department said.

It became the third incident – fire at nursing homes – with lethal outcome since the beginning of the year. In March the fire killed 63 elderly people in the Krasnodar region of Russia. Ten people were killed in a similar tragedy in March in the Omsk region, Siberia.