Deadly fire in Moscow's dormitory

MOSCOW, Monday, Nov. 24 — (AP) A fire ripped through a Moscow dormitory housing foreign students early on Monday, killing at least 28 people and injuring 78 others, the government said. The fire raged through part of a five-story dormitory belonging to the Patrice Lumumba Friendship of Peoples University, where many foreigners study, the Emergency Situations Ministry said. The Interfax news agency reported earlier that 18 people were killed, all of them foreigners. Citing a foreign students' union, it said the dead and injured included citizens of China, Bangladesh, Vietnam and several African countries. The fire started in the early hours of Monday, and spread to four floors of the dormitory block, reports BBC. It has also been noted that more than 70 others were injured by inhaling smoke or after jumping from windows. The buildings are run down and an initial investigation suggests this fire might have been caused by an electrical short circuit in a room shared by three Nigerian girls. The number of deaths caused by fire in Russia has increased sharply over the past decade, says the BBC's Jonathan Charles in Moscow. The fire was extinguished about three hours after the alarm sounded, authorities said. The university, named for the Congolese revolutionary and prime minister, was founded in 1960. It was once a showcase where students from Third World nations received subsidized education with a strict Marxist curriculum. It has declined since the fall of the Soviet Union.

Sources: BBC, The Associated Press, Interfax

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