Saturday, May 15, 2021

Blaze arrives at a home for the elderly in Ukraine | Ukraine News

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“Careless handling of electric heaters” called the preliminary cause of the tragedy by authorities.

At least 15 people have been killed and 11 injured after a fire ravaged a home for the elderly in the city of Kharkiv, in eastern Ukraine.

The fire started Thursday afternoon in the two-story building and spread to cover around 100 square meters.

The emergency service released a photo of the building with bars on the first floor windows.

Smoke could be seen coming from the broken windows on the second floor.

“According to preliminary information, 33 people were in the building at the time of the fire and 15 of them died,” according to a statement from the service.

Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenskyy offered his condolences on Facebook and said an investigation must take place to prevent a similar tragedy from happening again.

He urged the Home Secretary to open and take charge of an investigation into the incident.

The Ukrainian public prosecutor said that the authorities had opened a criminal investigation and that the preliminary cause of the tragedy was the “reckless handling of electric heaters”.

A rescuer works at the scene of the accident following a fire at a nursing home in Kharkiv, Ukraine [State Emergency Service of Ukraine/Handout via Reuters]

About fifty firefighters were deployed to the scene.

The cause of the fire has not been determined.

Fires are common in the former Soviet country, often because health and safety rules are not followed.

Local authorities said the residential house may not have the necessary permits to operate.



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