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Chinese among dead in Russian factory blaze

China Daily | Updated: 2018-01-05 10:55
Firefighters put out flames at a shoe factory in Chernorechensky village, Novosibirsk, Russia, on Thursday. RUSSIAN EMERGENCIES MINISTRY VIA SPUTNIK

Ten people have died, including seven Chinese citizens, after a blaze at a shoe factory near the Russian city of Novosibirsk on Thursday, sources with the emergency services told local media.

"According to preliminary estimates, 10 people have died," a source told the Interfax news agency.

"Having noticed signs of a fire at the factory, they (the victims) attempted to extinguish the blaze on their own before the arrival of firefighters, but died from carbon monoxide poisoning."

The warehouse and shoe factory complex covers about 2,000 square meters, and witnesses reported seeing plumes of toxic smoke.

The Chinese embassy in Moscow has asked the local government to keep the bodies of the deceased Chinese properly and provide essential help to their families.

A source with the local branch of the Emergencies Ministry told ITAR-Tass news agency that the bodies of 10 people have been recovered.

According to preliminary data, most of the victims are Chinese. The others were reportedly two Kyrgyz citizens and one Russian.

An emergency services source said authorities were trying to identify the victims.

The fire broke out around 9 am. About 80 firefighters and 24 units of equipment were sent to put out the blaze. They managed to extinguish flames outside the factory by noon.

Preliminary investigations suggest the blaze may have been caused by an internal short-circuit.

Russia's investigation authority has launched a probe to find out whether the incident was caused by violation operations that break the law.

Such claim has been refuted by local government. An anonymous official from Novosibirsk told ITAR-Tass that the factory had been working under the regulation of Russian manufacturing law.

Smoke from the fire at the factory is not believed to represent a danger to local residents, authorities said.

"Thick black smoke, formed during the burning of synthetic materials, does not pose any threat to the population," the local emergency department said.

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