2 Dead in Russian Nursing Home Fire

October 11, 2011

Two elderly people are dead and two others remain missing after a fire in a provincial Russian home for seniors.

The fire broke out early Sunday in the facility with 13 residents in the village of Tikhon in the Kostroma region, some 250 miles (400 kilometers) northeast of Moscow.

A statement from the regional government said the search was continuing for the two missing, and that the remaining nine residents had been taken to a hospital for treatment.

There was no immediate determination of the cause, but Russian news agencies reported that suspicion was focused on smoking.

Russia records nearly 18,000 fire deaths a year, several times the per-capita rate in Western countries. The country suffers frequent fires at hospitals, schools and other state-run facilities, many blamed on negligence and fire safety violations.

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