Five people including a child died on Saturday in a fire in Russia's Nizhny Novgorod Region believed to have been caused by a household gas explosion, local rescuers said.
One other resident was severely injured in the blaze, which broke out in the early afternoon in an apartment on the top floor of a five-storey block in Dzerzhinsk.
Russia has an appalling fire safety record. According to the country's emergency services, 15,165 people died in fires across the country in 2008, including 584 children. On average, 42 people die daily in Russia in fires. In the U.S., with a population over twice as large, the figure is around 3,400 deaths a year.
Last Saturday, a fire broke out in a nightclub in the Perm region during an indoor fireworks display. The death toll has been steadily rising throughout the week, reaching 143 as of today.
A fire at a three-story residential building in the village of Molodezhny, in Russia's southern Astrakhan Region, killed 16 people in mid-February this year. Just a week earlier, 23 mostly ederly people died in a fire that destroyed a wooden care home in the republic of Komi in northwest Russia.
Russian President Dmitry Medvedev instructed then his administration to carry out comprehensive checks nationwide to uncover possible violations of fire safety and to look into general living conditions at care facilities.
NIZHNY NOVGOROD, December 12 (RIA Novosti)