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At Least 8 Killed in Moscow Region Hostel Fire

Firefighters battle a blaze at the hostel in the town of Istra. Russian Emergencies Ministry

At least eight people were killed and one other was injured in a hostel fire in the Moscow region town of Istra, emergency officials said Friday.

The fire broke out at 4:00 a.m. local time and was extinguished around five hours later, the Emergency Situations Ministry’s local branch said, according to the news agency Moskva. 

A video shared by Russia’s Emergency Situations Ministry showed the charred remains of the building. 

The Moscow region prosecutor’s office said an unidentified 23-year-old man had rented the building and sublet it to undocumented migrants. The law enforcement body said it launched a criminal investigation into the organization of illegal migration following the incident.  

Russia’s Investigative Committee, which probes major crimes, launched a separate investigation into negligent homicide.

The state-run news agency RIA Novosti, citing an anonymous emergency official, reported that the Istra hostel fire may have spread from a fireplace and people may have died from smoke inhalation.

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