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38 people feared dead in fire at Russian psychiatric hospital

As many as 38 people were feared dead after a fire raged through a psychiatric hospital outside Moscow early yesterday, prompting a call by President Vladimir Putin for a full investigation into the tragedy.

Forty-one people, including three staff, were in the single-story building when the fire began and three people escaped the blaze, according to the Emergency Ministry. Thirty-five bodies have been recovered so far, the ministry said.

Putin ordered Moscow Region Governor Andrei Vorobyov and government agencies and ministries to conduct an investigation, according to a statement on the Kremlin’s website.

The fire began at about 3 a.m. and may have
been caused by arson, an electrical short-circuit or another malfunction, the state news service RIA Novosti reported.

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