KIEV (Sputnik) – The flames at the temporary housing for seniors in Litochky village erupted at 12:48 GMT and were contained two hours later. Preliminary data indicated there were 35 people inside the temporary shelter, 18 of whom have been rescued.
"As of 11 a.m. local time [08:00 GMT], 17 bodies have been found at the site of the fire," the emergency service said.
Local law enforcement officials cited staff at the illegal resort claiming a television explosion may have caused the blaze.
"I cannot say whether this theory will be confirmed, it will be established during the investigation," emergency chief Mykola Chechyotkin said at a briefing.
He added that Deputy Prime Minister Hennadiy Zubko took charge of a commission to investigate the causes of the incident. Its first session will convene at 10:00 GMT.
A criminal case has been opened into the violation of fire safety rules.