MOSCOW, January 20 (RIA Novosti) – Eight workers died in a fire that broke out in an administrative one-storey wooden building in Yekaterinburg in the Urals, the regional emergencies center reported on Sunday.
The fire erupted early on Sunday and engulfed an area of 200 square meters. The building housed a brigade of workers who were engaged in the construction of a new greenhouse center. It took the firefighters more than two hours to extinguish the blaze.
Previous reports said six construction workers were killed in the fire.
“During the clearance of debris the bodies of two more people were found,” the regional emergencies center said.
According to preliminary data, workers from the Perm Region in the Urals were killed in the fire, regional Interior Department spokesman Valery Gorelykh said.
“Criminal investigators found several cars at the scene, including a Volga car with Perm number plates, and a Ford car with Sverdlovsk Region number plates, which was used by the construction brigade foreman, according to some information” the spokesman said.
The location of the foreman has not been determined, it is not ruled out that he may be among the fire victims. The identities of the persons killed in the fire are being established, he said.
Negligence, careless smoking and reluctance to comply with fire safety rules are the most frequent causes of residential building fires across Russia. The number of house fires has risen dramatically in the country after the collapse of the Soviet Union.
Fire safety came into the spotlight in Russia in recent years after a number of high-profile blazes. Over 150 people were killed in a fire at a nightclub in the Urals in December 2009.