Quantcast
Connect with us

109 dead in Russian nightclub blaze

Published

on

At least 109 people were killed and dozens injured overnight to Saturday when a blaze sparked by indoor fireworks swept through a nightclub, in one of the deadliest tragedies to hit Russia in recent years.

Flames ripped through the Lame Horse nightclub in the Ural city of Perm as around 230 people celebrated the popular venue’s eighth anniversary, local police said, quoted by Russian news agencies.

ADVERTISEMENT

Russian television showed bodies being piled up outside the club by rescue workers. The windows of the one-story building were shattered and charred.

Local residents told AFP the fire could have spread quickly because a barn theme meant the club was decorated with highly flammable straw panels.

Russian authorities said they had arrested the owner and manager of the club on Saturday.

Emergency Services officials in a televised meeting with President Dmitry Medvedev said managers at the venue had violated fire safety laws and repeatedly ignored orders to comply with standards.

“Warnings were issued, but they didn’t react,” Medvedev said, urging swift punishment for those responsible. “They have neither brains, nor conscience!”

ADVERTISEMENT

Premier Vladimir Putin ordered a government commission to probe the causes of the tragedy, saying in a statement: “It is necessary to launch a minute investigation, punish the culprits and discovered the causes of this monstrous disaster.”

The death toll from the tragedy reached 109 after another seven burn victims died in hospital, a spokesman for local investigative committee said, quoted by news agencies RIA Novosti and Interfax.

Some 200 relatives of the victims waited in anguish outside a morgue on the outskirts of the city for the slow work of identifying the bodies. A regional emergency situations ministry spokeswoman told AFP so far 57 people had been identified. Related article: Families’ agonising wait

ADVERTISEMENT

She said a further 130 people were injured in the blaze overnight from Friday to Saturday, and local residents said hospitals had put out an urgent call for blood donors in the wake of the tragedy.

Many of those killed died of smoke inhalation or were crushed to death as party-goers rushed to flee, officials said.

ADVERTISEMENT

A local resident, who gave her name only as Nelly, said staff and performers, including a friend’s daughter, had for the most part escaped through a back door.

“The lights went out and she crawled out through a back exit. Her clothes were all charred from the fire and black,” she said.

“There were fireworks set off at the scene, and one hit the plastic ceiling, setting everything ablaze. People panicked and succumbed to burns, the crush and gas poisoning,” the Perm region’s public security minister Igor Orlov was quoted as saying.

ADVERTISEMENT

Officials ruled out the possibility that the tragedy was due to a terrorist attack as FSB security service experts found no trace of explosives or other evidence at the scene.

The tragedy came a week after a train blast on a busy railway from Moscow to Saint Petersburg killed 26 people and renewed fears of terror attacks in Russia’s heartland.

A grainy video from inside the club broadcast on Vesti showed the ceiling starting to blaze. Smoke wisped through the crowd of young party-goers with drinks, who slowly realize what is happening and rush toward an exit.

Enforcement of fire safety regulations is known to be lax in Russia, where thousands of blazes are recorded every year and the death rate from fires is several times higher than in the West.

ADVERTISEMENT

Perm is a city of around a million people and lies about 1,200 kilometres (700 miles) east of Moscow in Russia’s Ural mountains.


Report typos and corrections to: [email protected].
READ COMMENTS - JOIN THE DISCUSSION
Continue Reading

Breaking Banner

Trump is enacting the presidency ‘George Wallace never had’: Conservative columnist

Published

on

On Friday, writing for The Washington Post, conservative columnist Max Boot tore into President Donald Trump's legacy on race.

"We know how a normal president responds when a white police officer ignites furious protests by killing a black man. It is the way President Barack Obama responded in 2014 after a grand jury refused to indict a white police officer who had fatally shot Michael Brown in Ferguson, Mo., and the National Guard had to be called in to deal with looting and fires," wrote Boot. "Obama expressed sympathy for the protesters — their anger, he noted, was 'rooted in realities that have existed in this country for a long time' — while making clear that he had no sympathy with violence: 'Burning buildings, torching cars, destroying property, putting people at risk — that’s destructive and there’s no excuse for it. Those are criminal acts. And people should be prosecuted if they engage in criminal acts.'"

Continue Reading

Breaking Banner

White House goes into lockdown as George Floyd protests in DC rage hotter

Published

on

On Friday, CBS News reporter Weijia Jiang reported that the White House has now issued lockdown orders.

The development comes as protests against the police killing of George Floyd in Minneapolis, Minnesota have spread to Washington, D.C. and crowds are growing angrier. Earlier in the evening, a protester scaled the wall of a federal building and spray-painted an obscene anti-Trump message above a window.

The White House is currently under lockdown orders. https://t.co/LasnCIjkum

Continue Reading
 

Breaking Banner

‘Virtual terrorism’: Far-right trolls are targeting marginalized groups on Zoom calls

Published

on

On May 14, thirty-one residents of an East Oakland neighborhood joined a videoconference call to meet with their neighborhood services coordinator to hear updates about upcoming community events and resources available to residents; the meetings, which took place regularly in person prior to the pandemic, recently transitioned to virtual videoconferencing app Zoom. Then, five minutes into the call, the number of attendees jumped up to 72.
Continue Reading
 
 
You need honest news coverage. Help us deliver it. Join Raw Story Investigates for $1. Go ad-free.
close-image