Sentences Announced in 2009 Deadly Nightclub Blaze Case

PERM, April 30 (RIA Novosti) – A court in the Urals city of Perm on Tuesday handed sentences to defendants in the case of a deadly fire that occurred in a local nightclub several years ago, a RAPSI legal news agency correspondent reported from the courtroom.

The fire, the worst in Russia’s modern history, swept through the Lame Horse nightclub in Perm, 1,400 kilometers east of Moscow, in December 2009 after an indoor pyrotechnics display set the ceiling ablaze, quickly filling the packed club with toxic smoke and killing a total of 156 people.

The key defendant in the case, the club’s owner Anatoly Zak, was ordered to serve nine years and 10 months in a medium-security penal colony.

Perm’s Leninsky District Court also sentenced Lame Horse art director Oleg Fetkulov to six years, and unofficial executive director Svetlana Yefremova to four years.

The court ruled that Zak, Fetkulov and Yefremova had provided services that did not comply with health and safety requirements.

Igor and Sergei Derbenyov, who were responsible for orchestrating the fatal pyrotechnics show, were sentenced to four years and 10 months and five years respectively. The court ruled that Sergei and his son Igor violated regulations governing the use of pyrotechnics, resulting in the deaths of dozens of people.

Ex-officials from the fire safety authority Gospozhnadzor were also sentenced to prison terms for failing to reliably carry out inspections of the club. Former local Gospozhnadzor inspector Dmitry Roslyakov got five years in a penal settlement, where conditions are milder than in a medium-security penal colony.

Another former local fire inspector Natalya Prokopyeva was given four years in a penal settlement for negligence, and ex-head of the local branch of Gospozhnadzor Vladimir Mukhutdinov was fined 70,000 rubles ($2,250) for issuing a safety certificate to the nightclub when it did not in fact meet requirements.

Russia’s fire safety record is poor, with over 10,000 people dying in fires across the country annually. The Lame Horse fire prompted spot checks of the country’s nightclubs.

Last week, 38 people died in a fire at a hospital in the Moscow Region.


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