Two dead in Russian military research institute fire

A fire at a Russian military research institute in the northwestern city of Tver killed two people Thursday and injured dozens more, state news agencies reported.

Russian TV showed images of thick black smoke rising from inside the yellow four-story building of the Central Research Institute of the Russian Air and Space Forces.

Several of the institute’s employees had to jump out of windows on the upper floors to escape the flames, according to witnesses quoted by broadcasters.

“Two people were killed in the fire… Around 30 people were injured,” a source in the emergencies ministry said, TASS state news agency reported.

Several of the injured were taken to hospital, three of them requiring intensive care, said a spokesman for the Tver regional hospital, quoted by TASS.

Preliminary information suggests the fire was caused by faulty electric wiring, TASS added.

The defense ministry said the institute focuses on research related to Russian air and space defense, as well as the development of new anti-aircraft systems.

Accidental fires are common in Russia, where hundreds of blazes are recorded each year due to ageing and dilapidated infrastructure and non-compliance with safety standards that are often lax.

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