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Sep 23, 5:42 AM EDT

8 Russian firefighters die in Moscow fire


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MOSCOW (AP) -- Eight Russian firefighters died when the roof of a plastics warehouse in Moscow collapsed while they were trying to extinguish a massive blaze, the Emergencies Minister said.

Emergencies Minister Vladimir Puchkov said in Friday's statement the firefighters were on the roof, working to contain the fire in the warehouse, when the collapse happened.

About 300 emergencies workers took part in combating the fire, which erupted Thursday and engulfed an area of up to 4,000 square meters (40,000 square feet). It took firefighters more than 14 hours to put it out.

The warehouse in eastern Moscow stored a wide range of plastic goods, including kitchenware and artificial flowers, and the blaze engulfed the area in acid fumes. Investigators were looking into possible causes of the fire.

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