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. Last Updated: 07/27/2016

Repair Work on Ostankino TV Tower Stalled

Repair works on the landmark Ostankino television tower gutted by a fire last August have been stalled due to lack of funds, a top construction official said Thursday.

Anvar Shamuzafarov, chairman of Gosstroi, the state construction committee, said that the government had allocated funds to start costly repairs, but they were only enough to buy 140 steel cables intended to stabilize the 540-meter structure.

Workers had mounted only some of the cables when the money ran out, Shamuzafarov said, according to Itar-Tass.

He added that the European Bank for Reconstruction and Development has not yet delivered a promised loan to help finance repairs.

The Cabinet in November earmarked 50 million rubles ($1.8 million) from reserve funds to patch up the tower, but Shamuzafarov said then that the full restoration would cost more than $60 million.

The 26-hour fire broke out Aug. 27 high on the tower — a key feature of Moscow's skyline — and spread downward, knocking out almost all television services to 15 million people in Moscow and the surrounding area for three days.

The blaze, which killed three people, is believed to have been sparked by a short circuit. Officials said the tower was overloaded with cables, lacked the proper safety devices and had not been duly maintained.