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Death toll in apartment block fire in south Russia rises to 15


ROSTOV-ON-DON, February 15 (RIA Novosti) - The death toll in a fire that broke out in a wooden residential building in the Astrakhan Region in south Russia has risen to 15 people, the regional emergencies center said on Sunday.

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.

The emergencies center said seven people had been hospitalized while three others were missing.

Investigators said careless handling of fire was being examined as the main cause for the incident.

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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