Eight die in fire at rehab center in Altai territory

The survivors of a Sunday morning fire at a drug rehabilitation center in the village of Ozero Krasilovo in Altai territory have been accommodated at a local school and provided with hot meals, head of the district administration Konstantin Tatarnikov told Interfax.

"Everyone was moved to the school building. Relatives have already arrived to take some of the patients home," he said.

Earlier reports said that there were 27 patients at the center at the time of the fire and eight of them died.

The local official said that the rehabilitation center was privately-owned therefore the local authorities could not control its state. Chisty List charitable organization has a good reputation among the authorities and villagers, its personnel often helped local people and the school.

After the fire the district authorities decided to check several other houses in the area where similar services are offered.

According to the district administration, eight bodies were discovered at the scene of the fire and one more may remain under the debris. Six patients were injured in the fire.

"All the services - both the emergency situations' service and the police - acted very promptly," Tatarnikov stressed.

Meanwhile, assistant to the head of the Altai territory division of the Investigative Committee Lyudmila Ryazantseva told Interfax that all possible theories behind the fire from short circuit to arson will be checked in the framework of a criminal case launched in relation to the fire.

The local division of the emergency situations' service says that carelessness is the most likely cause of the fire which was reported to the fire-firing service at 4:43 a.m. local time on Sunday.

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