38 killed in drug rehab centre fire

There was no information on what caused the fire, which began at roughly 5:30 am local time in Taldykorgan city, or why dozens of people had apparently been unable to escape.
“According to tentative data, 38 people were killed in the burning inferno,” the Kazakh Emergency Situations Ministry said in a statement.

Rescuers were able to save 40 patients and medical staff, it said.

Kazakh Prime Minister Karim Masimov immediately called for the creation of a commission to investigate the cause of the fire, a government spokeswoman said.

Deadly fires are common in the former Soviet Union, with retirement homes and other state-run facilities particularly prone to such accidents.

In 2006, 45 women were killed when a fire erupted at a drugs treatment clinic in Moscow. The women were trapped behind locked doors and barred windows during inferno.

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