28 deaf children die in second Russian school tragedy

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The Independent Online

At least 28 deaf children died today in a fire at a boarding school in southern Russia.

At least 28 deaf children died today in a fire at a boarding school in southern Russia.

Firefighters saved the other 138 people in the two-story building from the early morning blaze in the city of Makhachkala.

Around 100 sustained burns and smoke poisoning and emergency officials said 16 were in serious condition.

The children who died were mostly bpys, aged six and seven.

The rescue operation was delayed because each of the children had to be awakened individually because they could not hear alarms. Some of the children were found cowering under furniture, officials said.

Emergency crews said in the rush to get the children to safety, some were thrown out windows and caught by rescuers standing outside. High winds also interfered with the efforts to extinguish the fire.

Emergency officials said the fire, which broke out around 2am, may have been caused by a short circuit that occurred when electricity was restored to the building after a blackout.

Television footage showed smoke pouring out of the barred windows of the yellow brick building hours after the fire broke out. The walls were charred, and all the windows had shattered.

The fire came after a school blaze in northern Siberia on Monday when a two-storey, old wooden school was completely destroyed killing 22 students between the ages of 11 and 18 and injured at least 10.



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