Nine mentally ill patients die in fire

From Times Wire Reports

Nine patients of a clinic for the mentally ill in Siberia died in a fire, a day after a blaze at a Moscow drug treatment center killed 45, officials said.

The accidents underlined widespread neglect of fire safety rules in Russia, which records about 18,000 fire deaths a year -- several times the rate in the United States.

The fire in the psychiatric hospital in the town of Taiga in central Siberia, about 2,200 miles east of Moscow, began shortly after midnight. About 200 patients escaped unhurt and 15 were hospitalized, officials said.

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