26 Apr 2013

38 feared dead in psychiatric hospital fire

9:24 pm on 26 April 2013

At least 38 people are feared dead after a fire swept through a psychiatric hospital in Russia.

The blaze at the hospital in Ramensky village, near the capital Moscow, began soon after 2am on Friday (local time).

So far 12 bodies have been found and 29 people are missing in the ruins, the BBC reports.

A Health Ministry spokesperson said a nurse managed to lead two patients to safety.

Russian news agencies quoting local officials said the fire broke out in part of the building where patients with severe conditions were being held and most of the victims died in their beds.

It is reported that thick smoke hampered rescue efforts and there were bars on the windows.

Investigators say they are focusing on reports of an electrical short-circuit and poor fire safety measures.