MOSCOW (AP) — A fire killed eight people in a Moscow hostel where bars on the windows prevented occupants from escaping escape, authorities said Friday.
The fire broke out late Thursday in the hostel, which was located in a multi-story apartment building in the Russian capital's far southeast. The cause of the blaze has not been determined.
About 200 people who lived in the building fled the fire; four people were hospitalized.
The Emergencies Ministry said bars on the windows of the first-floor hostel prevented occupants from escaping. The chairman of the Moscow city council's safety committee, Kirill Shitov, said he had previously reported safety violations at the hostel to authorities but no action was taken.
Hostels are common in Moscow for workers in low-pay jobs, particularly immigrants from former Soviet Central Asian countries. State news agency RIA-Novosti said five of the fire victims were from Central Asia.