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© Photo REUTERS/Editorial Staff of Newspaper "Yegoryevskyi Kuryer" (Yegoryevsk Courier)/Handout

Blaze in Moscow region sweatshop kills 14

by at 12/09/2012 18:32

Police and the Federal Migration Service are investigating a fire in an illegal Moscow region sweatshop that killed 14 Vietnamese workers trapped inside. One person survived and was taken to a hospital with burns.

The workers could not get out of the building as the door was locked and barred with a sledgehammer from the outside.

The investigation

The investigators presume that the fire was caused by a short circuit in the electrical system. However, the exact reason for the fire will be determined after an expert analysis of the site.

The police have already determined the owner of the premises, but it is unclear whether he knew what was going on there. The premises were rented out.

A group of Vietnamese diplomats went to Yegoryevsk on Wednesday to find out the details of the fire.

The police opened a criminal case on fire safety violations that caused death of two or more people.

Russian migration services also asked to open a criminal case on the crossing of the Russian border illegally without documents.

The fire-struck warehouse was the object of FMS’ attention twice over the last year.

“This year FMS checked this place twice, the last time at the end of April. Then they found 20 Uzbekistan nationals, who were deported from Russia,” an FMS spokesperson told Gazeta.ru.

Another sweatshop

Another illegal sweatshop was discovered in Yegoryevsk, not far from the one that burned down.

Russia’s migration service found 60 Vietnam citizens in the warehouse, without documents. They did not speak any Russian.

The seamstresses were living where they were working in the crowded warehouse and cooked food on portable electrical hot plates. They were taken to the police station to determine their identities.

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