Russia to mourn Perm victims on 40th day since tragedy

© RIA Novosti . Igor Kataev / Go to the photo bank Russia to mourn Perm victims on 40th day since tragedy
 Russia to mourn Perm victims on 40th day since tragedy  - Sputnik International
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Russia on Wednesday marked 40 days since the fire in a nightclub in the Urals city of Perm that killed 155 people, holding mourning and requiem ceremonies for the victims.

Russia on Wednesday marked 40 days since the fire in a nightclub in the Urals city of Perm that killed 155 people, holding mourning and requiem ceremonies for the victims.

Relatives and friends of those dead are still bringing flowers, toys, portraits and letters to the Lame Horse bar, where the tragedy occurred in the early hours of December 5, 2009.

Russian Orthodox Christians observe a 40-day mourning period, which ends with special services, and all Perm churches were to hold requiem ceremonies on Wednesday.

"We all mourn for the victims of the tragedy, deeply empathize and share the pain of the relatives. Orthodox Church is praying about health and quick recovery of the injured and hospitalized, whose condition is still critical," Perm bishop Irinarkh said.

In the days immediately after the accident, more than 20 million rubles ($670,000) were donated to different funds to support those affected by the tragedy.

Many of the partygoers had extensive burns and severe respiratory injuries, and 55 people are still undergoing treatment in hospitals, mostly in Moscow and St. Petersburg.

Nine children were orphaned by the fire, and a further 100 lost one of their parents.

The blaze, Russia's deadliest in at least half a century, engulfed the Lame Horse night club after an indoor firework display went wrong, setting fire to the wicker-decorated ceiling.

Russia's Emergencies Minister Sergei Shoigu said inspectors had for years turned a blind eye to breaches of fire safety in the Perm nightclub.

Charges were brought against Lame Horse executive director Svetlana Yefremova, acting art director Oleg Fetkulov and co-owner of the club Anatoly Zak, as well as director of the Pirotsvet fireworks supplier Sergei Derbenev

The government of the Perm region and the Perm city mayor resigned over the tragedy.

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. In the United States, with more than twice the population, the figure is around 3,400 deaths a year.

A total of 67 people died in about 600 fires that broke out in Russia on New Year's Eve and during New Year's celebrations on January 1 this year.

MOSCOW/ PERM, January 13 (RIA Novosti)

 

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