At least 13 people died in a serious fire at a nightclub in the Russian city of Kostroma. The fire spread rapidly over an area of about 3,500 square meters in the nocturnal entertainment center, the authorities said on Saturday. There were also five injured. The roof in the flat building of the "Poligon" restaurant, which has been popular for decades, has collapsed, it is said.
The Russian state television reported from the scene of the accident that 250 people could be brought to safety. The central investigative committee in Moscow announced that the exact number of dead and injured had yet to be clarified. The Russian Interior Ministry said that a wanted suspect had been arrested who is said to have started the fire.
Violations of safety regulations
Local media in the city more than 300 kilometers northeast of Moscow, citing investigators, reported that the man who accompanied a woman may have set off a firework rocket inside the building, which is also known as a café. Violations of elementary safety regulations keep causing serious fires in Russia, resulting in many deaths and injuries.
Authorities said that there had recently been no fire safety check in the building. The owner of the building is a deputy of the Kostroma regional parliament. In a statement, he expressed his sadness and promised help to the relatives of the dead and the injured, according to the Russian state news agency Tass.