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Deadly blaze hits Russian psychiatric hospital

More than 20 people have died and another 20 injured after a fire ignited at a psychiatric hospital in a southern region in Russia. In 2013, fires at two psychiatric hospitals left more than 70 people dead.

More than 70 people died in 2013 from fires at Russian psychiatric hospitals

More than 70 people died in 2013 from fires at Russian psychiatric hospitals

Russian officials said on Sunday that several people were killed in a fire at a psychiatric hospital in the country's southern region.

"Nineteen bodies were found at the site of the fire, two other people succumbed to their wounds at the hospital," a ministry spokesman told AFP news agency.

The spokesman said the fire was initially suspected to have ignited due to a short circuit or faulty wiring, adding that due to the building being made of wood, it was destroyed.

Some 20 people were also injured in the blaze at the hospital, located in the village of Alferovka in Russia's southern Voronezh region.

This is not the first time a fire at a Russian psychiatric institution has taken a deadly turn.

In April 2013, a

blaze at a psychiatric hospital

in Russia's northwest region killed 38 people, while

another one the same year

left 37 people dead.

Public health administrators have struggled to cope with a lax approach to fire safety in Russia, where outdated Soviet-era architecture presents safety hazards.

More than 150 people were killed in 2009 when a fire swept through a nightclub in Perm, around 1,200 kilometers (700 miles) east of Moscow.

ls/rc (AFP, dpa)

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