At least two dead as fire engulfs Russian office block

AFP || Shining BD

Published: 6/25/2024 5:07:13 AM

Two men jumped to their deaths and several other people are missing after an eight-storey office building near the Russian capital Moscow erupted in flames on Monday, authorities said.

Video taken in the town of Fryazino showed smoke and flames billowing out of at least three of the building's top floors, as a group of four people could be seen huddled around a broken window trying to escape.

"Two men jumped out of the window while trying to escape -- unfortunately, they died. The fate of the two women who were on the eighth floor is being clarified," Moscow region governor Andrei Vorobyov said.

About 30 companies rented space in the office block, two of which had employees working there at the time of the fire, the governor said.

"There were also oxygen cylinders in the building, which triggered explosions. This led to the collapse of the floor slabs," he added.

The blaze spread to about 5,000 square metres before being contained, according to emergency services.

Deadly fires are common in Russia, which has for years suffered from lax safety standards and struggled to modernise older buildings with alarms and firefighting equipment.

A criminal case has been opened and investigators are establishing the circumstances of the fire, the governor said.

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