14 migrant workers die in factory fire outside Moscow, 60 more discovered nearby
12.09.12 16:38 By Darya Zagvozdnia, edited by Robert Gally
On Tuesday afternoon a fire in a clothing factory in the city center of Egoryevsk, killing 14 workers from Vietnam. Egoryevsk is located in the south-east of the Moscow region, 70 kilometers from the capital. The fire happened in what was a former cotton mill where garments were being sewn illegally. When firefighters arrived, they found 14 dead and four injured.
Later that evening, Federal Migration Services staff found another location filled with foreign workers.
Preliminary causes of the fire is believed to be from a short circuit. The exact cause of the fire will only be established after a thorough analysis of the scene. "Today, experts are being brought in, in order to establish the causes of the fire, its location, the factors that contributed to the spread of fire, the presence or absence of fuels. Besides the identification of victims, forensic medical examiners will conduct investigations to establish the identity of the employer " said Emergency Services spokesman in the Moscow region, Irina Gumennaya. According Gumennaya, they have already identified the owner of the premises. However, it is not known whether the owner knew about the illegal manufacturing in the factory.
That evening "In a similar shop nearby, [FMS staff] found 60 Vietnamese nationals. They have documents, though they hardly speak Russian, so we will use an interpreter to determine their status, their identity and that of their employer. currently they are unable to explain that they are doing in the shop," FMS spokesman Zalina Kornilov tells Gazeta.ru. Additionally, Kornilov commented on the living conditions for the Vietnamese seamsters:
"Conditions are far from acceptable. Its very crowded, there are unsanitary conditions, exposed wires, electric heaters, and handmade beds for people sleep on. It is unclear how people can live in such conditions. "
"They worked in the same place where they lived," she added. Currently, Vietnamese detainees in police custody until the situation can be explained.
On Tuesday evening, field investigators opened a criminal case under article 3.219
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