A pre-dawn fire swept through a Russian psychiatric hospital Friday, killing 37 people, officials said. Authorities had long warned that the mostly wooden building dating to the 19th century was unsafe.
It was the second such deadly blaze in less than five months, underlining the widespread neglect of fire safety standards in Russia.
The fire in the one-story hospital in the village of Luka, about 450 kilometers (280 miles) northwest of Moscow, erupted around 3 a.m. and quickly engulfed the structure, the Emergency Situations Ministry said.
The ministry said rescuers so far have recovered 26 bodies. The Investigative Committee did not explain how it confirmed the other deaths.
The agency added that the blaze was apparently inadvertently sparked by a patient, but the hospital’s chief doctor insisted the fire was a deliberate arso