Fire at Russian Mental Patients’ Home Kills 23, Injures 23

MOSCOW (AP) -

A fire swept through a Russian home for people with mental illnesses, killing 23 patients and injuring another 23, the emergency services said Sunday.

The remaining 24 patients were safely evacuated to other facilities, and the four medical personnel working at the home were unhurt, they said.

Investigators have not yet determined the cause of the fire, which broke out late Saturday in Alferovka, a village in the Voronezh region about 600 kilometers (350 miles) south of Moscow. The fire in the one-story brick building was extinguished shortly after 3 a.m. Sunday, local time.

The fire started in a section of the home dedicated to patients who were unable to walk, emergency services official Igor Kobzev said on Russian state media. He said 39 of the patients in the home could not walk and those who were saved were carried out of the building.

All of the patients at the Novokhopersky Neuropsychiatric Home were men and those who died were between the ages of 46 and 78, according to a list released by the emergency services.