Yeisk District head asked to resign after retirement home fire

KRASNODAR, March 21 (RIA Novosti) - The governor of the southern Russian Krasnodar Territory has asked the head of the Yeisk District to resign after Tuesday's fire in a retirement home that killed 63 people.

There were 97 people in a two-story building in a small town in the Krasnodar Territory when the fire started at 1:11 a.m. Tuesday local time (10:11 p.m. Monday GMT). It was put out four hours later, with 30 hospitalized.

Governor Alexander Tkachyov said the accident had occurred due to the "criminal negligence" of authorities, as there had been no fire station near Kamyshevatskaya, the town in the Yeisk District where the tragedy happened, in breach of regulations.

A spokeswoman for the Ministry of Emergency Situations said Tuesday that the nearest fire station was 50 kilometers (31 miles) from the town, when it should have been no farther than three kilometers (around 2 miles) away.

"This [the fire] proved that the safety system of the Territory does not work," Tkachyov said. He criticized the heads of many enterprises in the area for shutting down their firefighting units.

"As many as 400 settlements have been left without protection as a result," he said.

The emergencies ministry said Tuesday that a late emergency call, staff misconduct and the remote location of the fire station contributed to the high death toll at the retirement home in Kamyshevatskaya, which is located on the coast of the Sea of Azov.

Deputy Governor Murat Akhejak said 38 of those killed have already been buried, with all of the bodies identified.

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