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Last Updated: Thursday, 21 June 2007, 10:53 GMT 11:53 UK
Fatal fire at Russia elderly home
A fire at a retirement home in Siberia has killed at least 10 people.

At least four people were hurt and more than 300 who were in the building were evacuated following the blaze in the Omsk region, Tass news agency reported.

It is the latest in a series of blazes at care centres in Russia. In March, a fire at a nursing home in the south of the country killed 63 people.

Last December, another fire at a drug rehabilitation centre killed 45 women in the capital, Moscow.

The blaze started during the night on the top floor of the three-storey home, when most of the residents were in bed.

The fire alarms went off shortly after midnight (1700 GMT Wednesday).

Many elderly residents struggled to escape through the smoke.

Negligence is often a factor in fire deaths in Russia, but this time the alarm system functioned as it should have done and firefighters were at the scene within 10 minutes, says the BBC's James Rodgers in Moscow.

Fire kills some 17,000 people a year in Russia - a far higher percentage of the population than in Western countries, our correspondent adds.

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