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. Last Updated: 07/27/2016

Administrators Criticized After School Blaze

The Emergency Situations Ministry accused administrators of a Moscow management school where a fire killed nine people of turning a blind eye to safety violations Wednesday.

Six people died of smoke inhalation in the blaze Tuesday at the Moscow State Institute of State and Corporate Management, located near the Dubrovka metro station. Three more people died in hospitals overnight, while 51 others were injured, Interfax reported.

The high death toll was caused by safety violations, Emergency Situations Ministry official Yury Nenashev said Wednesday.

An inspection of the building Aug. 7 turned up 14 violations, including the lack of an automatic alarm system and faulty electric wiring, Nenashev said, Interfax reported.

"Still, not one of the detected violations had been eliminated by the institute's administration," he said.

Administrators also blocked emergency exits to keep unauthorized people out of the building, Kommersant reported.

Prosecutors have opened a criminal investigation into possible safety violations.

Officials at the privately owned school could not be reached immediately for comment.

The cause of Tuesday's blaze is unclear. Vladimir Vasilyev, head of the State Duma's safety committee, said investigators were examining whether it might have been caused by arson, a terrorist attack or safety violations, Interfax reported.