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10 Migrants Dead After Twin Blazes

Smoke rising above the OKO Office Business Complex tower on Friday. Mikhail Voskresensky

A fire ripped through a new building's underground parking lot on Saturday, killing 10 migrant workers and injuring 13 others who had been working and living there, city police said.

The director of the firm managing the building on Khersonskaya Ulitsa, near metro Kaluzhskaya in southwestern Moscow, was detained later that day.

All those who died were citizens of Tajikistan, police said in a statement. It said they were killed after a garbage heap on the floor they were working on caught fire, but the cause of the blaze itself was under investigation.

A fire also broke out on an under-construction skyscraper in the Moskva-City business complex on Friday morning, prompting an emergency evacuation of the building.

Two-hundred twenty workers were evacuated from the OKO Office Business Complex tower, emergency officials told RIA-Novosti. A news report initially said one worker was injured in the fire, but that information was subsequently denied by authorities.

A police source told the news agency that the fire started on the 24th floor of the tower owned by Capital Group, spreading by noon to an area of about 70 square meters. Firefighters managed to put out the blaze by early afternoon.

A fan heater appeared to have caused the fire.

On Sunday morning, 400 people were evacuated from Moscow State University’s main building after a fire swept through 10 square meters of the cafeteria. None were reported injured.

The government's Emergency Services department says nearly 14,000 people died from fires in 2009, the latest year with complete records.

(MT, AP)

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