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Residential building fire leaves 13 people dead in south Russia


MOSCOW, February 15 (RIA Novosti) - Thirteen people were killed and another seven injured in a fire that broke out in a wooden residential building in the Astrakhan Region in southern Russia, the country's prosecutor's office said on Sunday.

"The bodies of 13 victims had been recovered and seven people are in hospital. The efforts to clear the debris are continuing," spokesman Vladimir Markin said.

The fire in a three-storey residential building in the village of Molodezhny broke out on Saturday evening and was put out two hours later. A total of 59 tenants had been evacuated from the building.

Markin said the building was recognized as structurally unsafe back in 1997 and its tenants were intended to be resettled. Investigators are currently carrying out measures to identify persons responsible for the tragedy, he said.

In a similar incident a week ago, twenty-three people, most of them elderly persons, died in a fire that destroyed a wooden care home in the Republic of Komi in northwest Russia.

Russian President Dmitry Medvedev ordered on Thursday to carry out comprehensive inspections of all Russian retirement homes following the deadly fire at the Komi care facility.

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