Kiev: Seventeen people died when a makeshift home for elderly people outside Ukraine’s capital, Kiev, caught fire on Sunday morning, the emergencies service said.
“The bodies of 17 people have been found at the site of the fire,” the head of Ukraine’s state emergencies service, Mykola Chechetkin, said in comments released by his office.
The fire tore through the temporary two-storey shelter for the elderly in Litochky village, located 50 km north of Kiev.
Citing preliminary information, the service said 35 people were at the shelter when the fire broke out in the early hours of Sunday.
Eighteen people were rescued, five of them hospitalised, said the service, adding that the fire has been extinguished.
Ukrainian President Petro Poroshenko was notified of the blaze, the government said in a statement, and Prime Minister Volodymyr Groysman had tasked officials with creating a special commission to look into the incident.
Groysman condoled with the families of the victims of the “terrible tragedy”, the government said in a statement.
In post-Soviet countries such as Ukraine and Russia, outdated infrastructure is still in widespread use and managers often take a lax approach to fire safety. Such fires often claim the lives of some of the most vulnerable people such as the elderly or those with mental illness.
Scores of people also die in house fires each year....