In the passing year in Russia over 18,000 people died in accidents, including fires, the Information and Public Relations Department of the Russian Emergency Situations Ministry informed RIA Novosti.
The number of man-caused fire-related accidents was high this year. 230,000 (6% more than last year) fires were registered which resulted in killing 16,312 people, including 611 children. Over 70% of the fires were registered in the housing sector. The main causes of fire-related accidents are increased industrial negligence, domestic drinking (56% of the total number of fires) and outdated equipment.
In 2002 other 1,040 accidents occurred killing 1,900 and injuring 320,000 people.
76,000 people were rescued by emergency workers, including 53,000 by fire fighters. 10,000 people were evacuated from dangerous areas.
Natural calamities caused significant losses this year. According to emergency experts their widened scale is due to the global climate change.
Deciding factors this year were poor riverbed and waterworks conditions, inexperience of many local authorities in handling emergency situations, as well as low public awareness of how to act in case of emergency.
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Eyewitnesses said that explosions could be heard in the centre of Kyiv. Smoke was seen rising above Zhuliany Airport (Kyiv International Airport)