• eng
03:38 GMT +3 hours22 December 2014
Live
Russia

Nightclub blaze death count climbs to 142

Russia
100
Another victim of last week's Russian nightclub fire died on Friday bringing the death toll to 142 people, the Health and Social Development Ministry said.

Another victim of last week's Russian nightclub fire died on Friday bringing the death toll to 142 people, the Health and Social Development Ministry said.

A 34-year old man died in hospital in the Urals Perm region where the tragedy happened.

The ministry said 88 people remain in hospitals in Perm, Moscow, St. Petersburg and Chelyabinsk, including 32 in critical condition, after the blaze engulfed the Lame Horse club in the west Urals city in the early hours of Saturday after an indoor fireworks display went awry. Three people died in a hospital in the Russian capital overnight and another two in St. Petersburg later.

Doctors say the victims have extensive burns and toxic respiratory.

Prime Minister Vladimir Putin earlier on Friday ordered an additional 432 million rubles (about $15 million) to be allocated from the national reserve fund to pay for medical assistance to the victims.

The general health insurance policy held by the overwhelming majority of Russians does not cover the sophisticated and expensive burn treatment procedures the fire victims need.

The art director along with two other Lame Horse managers and the head of a fireworks supplier are under investigation over the accident.

Negligence charges were brought on Friday against two more senior emergencies and fire safety officials in the city, who were sacked along with a host of other officials earlier this week. They face up to seven years in prison if convicted.

Emergency Situations Minister Sergei Shoigu said in a newspaper interview that inspectors had for years turned a blind eye to breaches of fire safety in the nightclub. He said the probe had revealed numerous breaches in the club, including those committed during reconstruction several years ago.

Following a 2001 reorganization, the Russian State Fire Service was transferred from the Interior Ministry's jurisdiction and placed under the control of the Emergency Situations Ministry. There has been speculation whether Shoigu, who is also co-chairman of the ruling United Russia party, would admit personal responsibility or be formally held responsible over the blaze.

President Dmitry Medvedev demanded on Tuesday punishment for those to blame for the tragedy. He called "the hosts of the show" in the club "irresponsible scoundrels," but also highlighted the local authorities' role.

The government of the Perm region resigned on Wednesday over the tragedy.

MOSCOW, December 11 (RIA Novosti)