Email
Password
Remember meForgot password?
    Log in with Twitter

article image38 People Killed by Fire at Clinic in Kazakhstan

By Chris Dade     Sep 13, 2009 in World
A fire at a clinic for drug addicts in Southeastern Kazakhstan has claimed the lives of 38 people, reportedly 36 patients and two members of staff, and resulted in the rescue of another 40.
Karim Masimov, Prime Minister of Kazakhstan, has already ordered an inquiry in to the fire, which occurred at a clinic in the city of Taldykorgan, the administrative center of Almaty Province.
According to the BBC safety regulations are given low priority in Kazakhstan, formerly a part of the Soviet Union, which often leads to fires and accidents in the workplace. Quoting a report by the AP news agency , the BBC adds that the Kazakh emergency ministry has confirmed that there have been nearly 10,000 fires in the country so far this year.
Of those rescued from the fire, the cause of which is presently unknown, 10 are still receiving treatment in hospital, two of them being in a critical condition.
Vladimir Bozhko, Kazakhstan's Emergency Situations Minister, has said that the clinic had no fire alarm and was built, reportedly in 1951, with materials that would have aided the rapid spread of the fire. Adding that fire crews were not alerted in time to prevent the fire, which covered an area of 650 sq m (7,000 sq ft), he admitted that some people could not escape the flames because of locked doors and bars.
The Ottawa Citizen states that there are many state-run institutions in Kazakhstan similar to the one affected by the fire. On the principal drug trafficking route that runs all the way from Afghanistan to Western Europe, Kazakhstan is a country with a population of 16 million and straddles Central Asia and Eastern Europe. There are 55,000 people officially registered as drug addicts in the country, for whom heroin, opium and cannabis is easily available.
More about Kazakhstan, Fire, Drugs
More news from