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    FIRE FIGHTERS DISCOVER NUMEROUS VIOLATIONS OF FIRE SAFETY REGULATIONS IN MANEZH

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    MOSCOW, March 18, 2004. (RIA Novosti) - By the time when fire broke out in the Manezh Exhibition Hall in Moscow, over 20 instructions of the fire service had not been fulfilled, Viktor Klimkin, first deputy chief of the Moscow Main Department for Civil Defence and Emergency Situations, told reporters on Thursday.

    "The last fire inspection of Manezh was held in April 2003. Inspectors issued 50 fire-safety instructions. Twenty two of them had not been met by the moment of fire," Klimkin said.

    He explained that Manezh lacked an automatic fire-fighting and fire signaling system, the wooden structures were not coated with a special protective compound.

    "The floor of the Manezh attic was covered with a peat-saw dust mixture, which burnt like powder when the fire broke out," Klimkn said.

    The place where fire began has been established. There were no electricity wires there.

    Klimkin refused to cite a possible cause of inflammation, saying that the prosecutor's office is finding out. It will schedule the required examinations.

    Klimkin said that fire fighters have begun to check all the old buildings in central Moscow.

    Manezh, built in 1817, took fire about 21:00, Moscow time, on Sunday. Fire was extinguished only on Monday morning. The building, except the walls, has fully burnt. Two fire fighters died and one got burns in the fire.

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