Russian Emergencies Minister Sergei Shoigu demanded on Sunday to ban the use of fireworks in public gathering venues during New Year celebrations following a deadly fire in a Urals nightclub that killed 112 people.
Shoigu instructed the ministry to send directives across the country banning the use of fire and pyrotechnics during the New Year and Christmas celebrations, adding that the ban must be observed by everyone, including showmen and performers.
The tragedy in the Urals city of Perm occurred on the night of December 4-5 during a party to celebrate the Lame Horse club's eighth anniversary when an indoor fireworks display started a fire that consumed most of the 500-square-meter venue.
Many victims were trapped and choked on smoke as they attempted to escape through the club's single exit.
Over 120 were injured in the nightclub fire, with 98 people with severe burns and injuries flown to Russia's best burn treatment centers and hospitals in Moscow, St. Petersburg and Chelyabinsk in the Urals. As many as 26 people are staying in grave though stable condition in Perm hospitals.
Shoigu also ordered urgent checks of fire safety rules at the places of New Year celebrations in Russia.
Shoigu also said that the Emergencies Ministry would submit proposals to the Russian government soon on toughening punishment for the breach of fire safety rules in Russia, a common cause of accidents with numerous casualties in the country in recent years.
MOSCOW, December 6 (RIA Novosti)