Fire at Russian explosives factory kills 15

Fifteen people died and one was missing after a fire broke out at a Russian explosives factory in southeast Moscow on Friday, authorities announced.
The government of the Ryazan region, where the plant is located, said that the victims died in the fire that broke out at the facility in the village of Lesnoy, 300 kilometers from the capital.
"The fate of one person remains unknown," she said in a statement.
And she indicated that another person was taken to the hospital due to "serious burns" and is in "critical condition".
The Ministry of Emergency Situations published pictures showing smoke and debris in the heavily damaged factory.
The government announced earlier that the fire was caused by a "violation of technological processes and safety standards" at the local "Elastic" factory.
The Russian government considers this factory a “strategic company” and, according to the company’s website, it belongs to the state “Rostec” group, which includes companies that supply advanced industrial products to the civil and military sectors.
But local media said the factory went bankrupt in 2015 and that its workshops were used by other companies in the explosives industry.
The Ministry of Emergency Situations said firefighters first received a report of a fire in the factory at 08:22 local time.
The Acting Minister of Emergency Situations, Alexander Choprian, was dispatched to the site. He is in charge of the ministry after Yevgeny Zenichev died after falling off a cliff during exercises in the Arctic last month.
Russia's Investigative Committee said it had sent investigators to check whether the plant was complying with "industrial safety standards".
More than 170 paramedics were sent to the scene to control the fire.
The head of the local administration earlier told the TASS news agency that 17 people were inside the factory's workshop when the fire broke out.
Authorities said the 160-square-meter fire had been extinguished and posed no danger to local residents.
Videos taken by amateurs on social media showed rows of fire engines at the scene with burning debris in a wooded area near the factory.
Accidental and fatal explosions and fires are common in Russia due to dilapidated infrastructure, much of which dates back to the Soviet era, or non-compliance with safety standards.
The most serious fire in recent years broke out in 2018, when 64 people, including 41 children, were killed, after the fire destroyed a shopping center while the alarm systems and emergency exits were out of order.
Investigators said the fire was caused by "flagrant violations" of safety rules including closing emergency exits and malfunctioning alarm systems, prompting President Vladimir Putin to demand answers.
The authorities subsequently found that hundreds of commercial and cultural sites across the country did not have the necessary fire safety standards.
Government critics say graft is a major factor in violating safety rules, with officials awarded building permits in exchange for bribes.
In December 2020, 11 people died in a fire in a nursing home in the Urals.
In January 2020, 11 and then four people died, respectively, in two separate fires in Tomsk and Moscow that broke out in migrant housing.
After a massive fire at a historic factory in Saint Petersburg in April 2021, investigators said the site had not been in compliance with a number of fire safety measures and that management had continued to operate normally despite being aware of it.

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