Head of Russian retirement home detained after fire kills 11

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MOSCOW (Reuters) – The director of a retirement home in the Russian region of Bashkortostan was detained on Tuesday after 11 elderly people died in a fire that broke out at the facility, authorities said.

The regional branch of the Investigative Committee, which probes major crimes, said the director was being held on suspicion of having caused the death of several people by neglecting safety regulations, an offence that can carry up to four years in prison.

The fire was reported early on Monday morning in the village of Ishbuldino, about 1,400 km (870 miles) southeast of Moscow, the emergencies ministry said in a statement. It was put out three hours later.

“Four people evacuated on their own before the arrival of firefighters,” the ministry said.

The Investigative Committee said 15 people had been inside the facility when the blaze broke out. Video footage published by the committee showed flames raging through the one-storey wooden building.

The regional branch of the emergencies ministry told TASS that the facility had fire detectors but no fire extinguishers.

Rady Khabirov, the head of Bashkortostan, ordered that safety inspections be carried out at similar facilities across the region.

Russian news agency Interfax quoted the district authorities as saying that one of the survivors was a staff member, while three others were residents whom she managed to lead out of the facility.

The 11 victims were elderly residents who had mobility issues and could not be quickly evacuated, Interfax reported. The regional authorities said the victims were four women and seven men between the ages of 57 and 80.

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