A devastating fire in a nursing home in southern Russia killed at least 63 persons on Tuesday, officials say. 33 others were injured.
The gruesome accident took place at a coastal village called Kamyshevatskaya. Emergency workers at a town 22 miles away received the fire alert after 1 a.m. It took them one hour to reach the village. By the time the fire was completely put out, it was 5 a.m., say officials.
The incident comes less than 24 hours after a huge methane gas blast at a Siberian coalmine that claimed 97 lives. It was described as the country's deadliest mining disaster in a decade.
The nursing home fire is only the latest in a number of deadly blazes at schools, dormitories, hospitals and other state-run facilities. They only point to rampant violations of fire safety rules and official negligence, say observers.
A fire at a drug treatment facility in Moscow in December killed 45 women who were trapped behind locked gates and barred windows. A blaze a day later killed nine patients at a clinic for the mentally ill in Siberia.
Russia records nearly 18,000 fire deaths a year, several times the per capita rate in the United States and other Western countries.