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Fire Kills 38 in Russian Psychiatric Hospital

May 25, 2013 Leave a comment

Psychiatric Hospital No. 14 was a locked facility that housed people with schizophrenia, mental retardation and drug and alcohol addiction. Around half of them took powerful antipsychotic medications at bedtime to help them sleep, officials said. Irina Gumennaya, a spokeswoman for the Russian Investigative Committee, said investigators believed the fire started on a sofa, perhaps by a recovering addict who smoked cigarettes surreptitiously. A nurse woke and tried to evacuate the patients, but was able to lead only one woman, who had a diagnosis of schizophrenia, to safety. Another patient left on his own. The remaining 38 died of burns or carbon monoxide poisoning, many still in their beds. Among them, 11 had no known relatives, making DNA identification difficult, said Veronika Skvortsova, Russia’s health minister.

Original article

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