Seven killed in fire at Russian mental hospital

A fire broke out early today in a home for the mentally ill outside Moscow, killing seven people and injuring 12 others.

Emergency Situations Ministry spokesman Viktor Beltsov said 55 people were inside the building, including two staff and 53 residents, when the blaze broke out at about 4am (1am Irish time).

Firefighters arrived within minutes, but their task was complicated by the fact there was no ready water near the building, and it had to be brought from about a mile away, he said.

The official said the fire originated in the attic of the home, a two-storey brick building with wooden floors, the ITAR-Tass news agency reported.

The fire was finally extinguished just after 7.30am (4.30am Irish time), said Emergency Situations spokeswoman Irina Andrianova.

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