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. Last Updated: 07/27/2016

At Least 12 Die in Furniture Factory Blaze

Twelve people have died in a fire that destroyed a furniture factory in Yekaterinburg.

Firefighters brought the blaze under control in the early hours of Wednesday, some 15 hours after it had started, said Natalya Zyryanova, a spokeswoman for the regional Emergency Situations Ministry.

"We can't discount the possibility of more deaths," she said. Ten of the workers at the Agrospetsmontazh plant have been hospitalized.

"There were people jumping from the windows. There was simply not a proper fire escape," she said.

The fire started at around 3 p.m. Tuesday in a large industrial building that had been rented out by a company that produces furniture. When emergency crews arrived, flames had engulfed 1,500 square meters.

Seventy people were evacuated from the building.

Alexander Sorokaletovskikh, chief spokesman for the regional Emergency Situations Ministry, told Interfax that emergency exits in the building were blocked and that this prevented workers from escaping.

Also Wednesday, fire erupted in the painting and inspection shop of Uralvagonzavod, a manufacturer of tanks and railroad rolling stock located in Nizhny Tagil, a city in the Sverdlovsk region.

Fifteen people were evacuated from the premises. No one was injured, Interfax reported.

The fire charred some 600 square meters of the factory. Firefighters extinguished the blaze shortly after noon.

(MT, Reuters)