KIEV: Seventeen people have been killed after a fire broke out in a residential building housing elderly people in a village near Kiev, Ukraine’s state emergency service said on Sunday.
The fire broke out in the early hours of Sunday morning, it said, adding that the privately owned two-storey building housed 35 people in the village of Litochky, 37 kilometres (23 miles) northeast of Kiev.
“Emergency services units saved 18 people, five of whom have been hospitalised with burns of varying degrees of severity,” it said.
Prime Minister Volodymyr Groysman said the fire was a terrible tragedy that had caused irreparable loss and called for an immediate investigation into its causes, a statement on the government website said.
Kiev police said they had detained the owner of the building and that he had been running the building as a private care home for the elderly, charging residents 6,000 hryvnia ($238) a month.
A statement on the police website said that a criminal case had been opened relating to a suspected violation of fire safety law. ($1 = 25.1400 hryvnias)