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. Last Updated: 07/27/2016

11 Die, 24 Missing After Siberian Hotel Fire

IRKUTSK, Eastern Siberia -- Fire engulfed the largest hotel in the Siberian city of Irkutsk, killing at least 11 people and leaving 24 others missing, officials said Monday.

Another 21 people were hospitalized from the Sunday night blaze at the Hotel Siberia, said Karl Smolikov, spokesman for the Emergency Situations Ministry.

The blaze began at 11 p.m., when most of the 171 guests were in their rooms. Some 175 firefighters using 54 fire engines took 16 hours to extinguish the blaze.

Rescuers continued to search the debris, fearing there might be other victims under the collapsed wooden structure, Smolikov said.

He said he could not confirm an Itar-Tass report that the fire may have been set. No other information on the cause was immediately available.