Support The Moscow Times!

8 Killed in Drug Rehab Center Fire in Russia's Far East

Eight people were killed after a fire broke out at a drug rehabilitation center in Krasilovo, Altai region. Andrei Makhonin / Vedomosti

A fire killed at least eight people at a drug rehabilitation center in the eastern Altai region, the latest in a series of deadly blazes at drug and psychiatric hospitals around the country in recent years that have raised concerns about the safety of vulnerable patients.

Six other people were injured in the fire that began early Sunday morning at the rehab center run by Chisty List (Clean Leaf), a charity organization in the village of Krasilovo, a spokesperson for the regional Investigative Committee said, Interfax reported.

The fire was believed to have been caused by negligence, and police have detained the director of the clinic on suspicion of fire safety violations.

Last September, a fire at a psychiatric hospital in the Novgorod region killed 37 patients and a nurse's aide who died trying to rescue her wards from the flames, Itar-Tass reported.

Five months earlier, a fire at a psychiatric hospital outside Moscow killed 38 people, and several more people died in a number of smaller fires last spring.

In another widely publicized case, a fire at a drug detox and rehabilitation hospital in Moscow killed 45 people, including 43 patients, in December, 2006.

Many psychiatric and drug rehabilitation clinics in Russia have bars on their windows and doors locked by key, complicating emergency evacuation.

… we have a small favor to ask.

As you may have heard, The Moscow Times, an independent news source for over 30 years, has been unjustly branded as a "foreign agent" by the Russian government. This blatant attempt to silence our voice is a direct assault on the integrity of journalism and the values we hold dear.

We, the journalists of The Moscow Times, refuse to be silenced. Our commitment to providing accurate and unbiased reporting on Russia remains unshaken. But we need your help to continue our critical mission.

Your support, no matter how small, makes a world of difference. If you can, please support us monthly starting from just 2. It's quick to set up, and you can be confident that you're making a significant impact every month by supporting open, independent journalism. Thank you.


Read more