Five Children Killed In Russian Fire

 

Five young children and two adults were killed when a fire ripped through a two-storey residential building in the central Russian city of Rostov early Saturday, authorities said.

The youngest child to have died was 15 months old and the oldest six, a spokeswoman for the emergencies ministry told AFP.

Three more people were hospitalised with various injuries, said Sergei Shokin, head of the Rostov municipal district.

Rostov is located some 200 kilometres (124 miles) northeast of the capital Moscow.

Officials did not immediately say what caused the fire but confirmed investigators were working at the scene.

The Investigative Committee said it had opened a criminal probe.

Fire Guts Property Worth Millions Of Naira In Ondo

 

Property worth millions of naira have been destroyed by an inferno which occurred at a residential building in Akure, the Ondo State capital.

According to residents of the apartment, the inferno, which was noticed at about 9:30 pm was caused by an electric spark from a room in which the occupant had left his generator on, locked the door and went out.

It was the landlord of the building next to it that was said to have alerted the residents of the inferno.

Subsequently, the door of the room was forced open but before the fire could be put out, it had spread to other rooms and burnt all the property of the occupants.
The victim was also said to have lost a sum of N250,000 to the incident.

Man Allegedly Sets Wife Ablaze In Ondo

 

 

The life of a middle aged woman, Dorcas Daniyan has allegedly been cut short by her husband, who set her ablaze in the night in their house located within Akure, the Ondo State capital.

The suspect, Mr Ojo Daniyan who is a welder was reported to have threatened to set his wife ablaze twice before the incident.

Channels Television gathered that on the fateful night, at about eleven O’clock, the neighbours were alerted by Mr Daniyan that their house was on fire.

One of the neighbours is said to have forced the door open and the woman who had already been burnt severely was brought out of the room.

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There are suggestions that the couple have been at loggerheads as a result of Dorcas’ decision to buy a piece of land without adding her husband’s name as co-owner.

The younger sister of the deceased, Bosede Richards and a neighbor, Kehinde Ajayi narrate their versions of how unfortunate incident happened to channels television.

According to Bosede, Mr Ojo had once reported the issue of the land to her, threatening to set his wife ablaze.

Kehinde Ajayi on the other hand disclosed that that Ojo brought some curtains into the house, adding that it was later discovered that underneath the curtains were plastic bottles containing petrol from where the fire started.

She added that the the burns on Dorcas’ body were severe and they lead to her death a few days later.

The spokesperson to the Ondo state police command, SP Femi Joseph speaking on the incident informed Channels Television that the suspect is being interrogated.

He said the suspect is claiming to be innocent, adding that his daughter had made some statements that linked him to the crime.

Late Dorcas Daniyan who is a mother of five, has since been buried, but the family is calling for justice and the police has promised to get to the root of the matter.

Fire Guts Unity Bank Head Office

 

There has been a fire incident at the Head Office of Unity Bank Plc on Victoria Island, Lagos, on Monday morning.

Videos posted on social media by witnesses showed parts of the building on fire with the flames spreading to at least three floors.

The fire which started early in the morning has been brought under control by officials of the fire service, the bank said in a statement on Twitter.

According to the bank, there was no casualty or loss of lives in the fire and observations as of 8:48 am showed that it did not affect the banking hall or “other strategic business areas”.

The cause of the fire has yet to be identified.

 

Several people have expressed solidarity and support for the bank, which is listed on the Nigerian Stock Exchange and has more than 200 branches across the 36 states of the country and the FCT.

The bank on its part thanked the agencies and volunteers that helped battle the fire.

 

26 Children, Two Teachers Killed In Liberia School Fire

 

Dozens of children were killed on Wednesday in a fire at a Koranic school near the Liberian capital Monrovia.

At least 26 children and two teachers died in the blaze overnight, the president’s office said, citing information from the emergency services.

President George Weah visited the site in Paynesville, on the outskirts of the capital, and said the cause was still unknown.

“We are here to encourage parents of the victims to have strength, because it is painful to lose your kids in this manner,” Weah told reporters.

“We extend our sympathy to the bereaved families. We don’t know the cause of the fire yet, but we will encourage our investigators to find how it happened,” he added.

Rescuers in white masks and surgical gloves carried the children’s bodies in bags from the burnt-out building as crowds of people and relatives crushed together outside.

The sheet-metal roof of the building, which housed a school and boarding school, was destroyed.

“I was sleeping when I heard noise outside. My wife opened the back door and we saw smoke coming from the front. We came out and saw heavy fire at the back,” said local resident Zazay.

Another resident, Ballah, whose home is near the school, said they helped in the rescue efforts.

“We went for water, trying to put it out. We were putting water up to 2.30 am. When the fire fighters came, the fire was already going down.”

“We do not know the cause of the fire,” he said.

The fire struck while the children were asleep, said Fulani community official Amadou Sherrif.

In an earlier tweet, Weah offered condolences to the families of those affected.

“My prayers go out to the families of the children that died last night in Paynesville City as a result of a deadly fire that engulfed their school building,” he wrote.

“This is a tough time for the families of the victims and all of Liberia.”

AFP

At Least 11 Dead In Rio Hospital Blaze

Firefigters transfer a patient during a fire at the Badim private Hospital in Tijuca neighborhood, Rio de Janeiro, Brazil, on September 12, 2019. MAURO PIMENTEL / AFP

 

At least 11 people, many of them elderly, were killed when a fire swept through a hospital in the Brazilian city of Rio de Janeiro as staff and desperate visitors battled to rescue patients from smoke-filled wards.

Hospital authorities said the blaze late on Thursday was thought to have been caused by a short circuit in a generator, although the city mayor said sabotage could not be ruled out.

Firefighters tackled the fire at the private Badim hospital, near Rio’s Maracana World Cup football stadium, for several hours before finally managing to extinguish it.

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The city’s forensic institute said most of the dead were aged 66 or over, many of whom were in the intensive care unit.

“The majority were due to suffocation and other causes related to the accident… the devices keeping them alive stopped working because of the fire,” Gabriela Graca, director of the forensic institute, told local media.

Emergency personnel searched through the burned-out building until the early hours of Friday to recover bodies.

The hospital said there had been 103 patients in the building when the fire broke out and that “more than 100 doctors were mobilized to bring help to the victims.” Seventy-seven of them had been moved to other hospitals while 14 had been cleared to return home.

During the evacuation, patients on gurneys and stretchers were carried into surrounding streets as ambulances struggled through crowds of curious onlookers to transport patients to other medical facilities.

“The doctor arrived in the room and told us that there was a fire and that we had to evacuate as quickly as possible,” 58-year-old Teresa Dias, who was visiting her father, told AFP.

“They put him on a wheelchair and tied him up to prevent him from falling out. There were a lot of other sick people on stretchers on the stairs.”

Staff wheeled medical equipment outside, and the most seriously ill patients were taken at first to a nearby children’s nursery.

Sheets tied together were seen hanging from hospital windows.

– Smoke spread quickly –
“I was able to take my mother out of her room and when we got to the fire escape, there were a lot of people running around,” lawyer Carlos Otorelo, whose 93-year-old mother was being treated for pneumonia, told the UOL news website.

“It was terrible because the smoke spread very quickly.”

Other relatives were forced to wait outside for word on their loved ones as dense black fumes filled the sky.

“I heard the loud noise of glass breaking and thought it was shooting or a robbery when I heard screaming. I went downstairs to see what was happening and I saw a lot of smoke,” said one resident, Terezinha Machado, 76.

Hospital authorities said smoke spread to all floors of the building and pointed to a generator in the oldest part of the complex as the probable cause of the fire.

Mayor Marcelo Crivella said investigators would probe whether the fire was an accident.

“Experts will have to find whether anyone was responsible. I hope I am wrong, but we have to check there was no sabotage, we have to investigate,” he told reporters when visiting the hospital Friday.

The fire service said the premises had safety certificates.

Rio has been hit by two major fires in the past year, including when the National Museum was gutted by flames last September, destroying most of its priceless collections.

In February, 10 teenage members of the Flamengo football club were killed in the prefabricated building where they were staying.

Faulty air conditioning systems were the cause of both fires.

At Least 11 Dead In Brazil Hospital Fire

A picture taken on September 13, 2019, shows the aftermath of a fire in the Badim private Hospital at the Tijuca neighbourhood, Rio de Janeiro, Brazil.
Mauro Pimentel / AFP

 

A fire erupted in a hospital in the Brazilian city of Rio de Janeiro, leaving at least 11 people dead and forcing medical staff and desperate relatives to rescue patients from smoke-filled wards.

Hospital authorities said the blaze on Thursday evening was thought to have been caused by a short circuit in a generator, though the city mayor said sabotage could not be ruled out.

Firefighters battled the blaze at the private Badim hospital, near Rio’s iconic Maracana World Cup football stadium, for several hours before extinguishing it.

Hospital director Fabio Santoro said Friday that 11 deaths had been confirmed and searches were still underway for one patient who had been reported missing.

READ ALSO: Johnson Behaved ‘Appallingly’ During Brexit Pre-Vote Campaign, Says Cameron

Emergency personnel searched through the burned-out building until the early hours of Friday to recover bodies.

The hospital said there had been 103 patients in the building when the fire broke out and that “more than 100 doctors were mobilized to bring help to the victims.” Seventy-seven of them had been moved to other hospitals while 14 had been cleared to return to their homes.

During the evacuation, patients on gurneys and stretchers were carried into surrounding streets as ambulances struggled through crowds of curious onlookers to transport patients to other medical facilities.

“The doctor arrived in the room and told us that there was fire and that we had to evacuate as quickly as possible,” 58-year-old Teresa Dias, who was visiting her father, told AFP.

“They put him in a wheelchair and tied him up to prevent him from falling out. There were a lot of other sick people on stretchers on the stairs.”

Staff wheeled medical equipment outside, and the most seriously ill patients were taken at first to a nearby children’s nursery.

Sheets tied together were seen hanging from hospital windows.

Smoke Spread Quickly

“I was able to take my mother out of her room and when we got to the fire escape, there were a lot of people running around,” lawyer Carlos Otorelo, whose 93-year-old mother is being treated for pneumonia, told the UOL news website.

“It was terrible because the smoke spread very quickly.”

Other relatives were forced to wait outside for word on their loved ones as dense black fumes filled the sky.

“I heard the loud noise of glass breaking and thought it was shooting or a robbery when I heard screaming. I went downstairs to see what was happening and I saw a lot of smoke,” said local resident Terezinha Machado, 76.

Hospital authorities said smoke spread to all floors of the building and pointed to a generator in the oldest part of the complex as the probable cause of the fire.

Mayor Marcelo Crivella said investigators would probe whether the fire was an accident.

“Experts will have to find whether anyone was responsible. I hope I am wrong, but we have to check there was no sabotage, we have to investigate,” he told reporters when visiting the hospital Friday.

The fire service said the premises had safety certificates.

Rio has been hit by two major fires in the past year, including when the National Museum was gutted by flames last September, destroying most of its priceless collections.

On February, 10 teenage members of the Flamengo football club were killed in the prefabricated building where they were staying.

Faulty air conditioning systems were the cause of both fires.

AFP

At Least 10 Dead In Rio De Janeiro Hospital Blaze

Firefigters transfer a patient during a fire at the Badim private Hospital in Tijuca neighborhood, Rio de Janeiro, Brazil, on September 12, 2019. MAURO PIMENTEL / AFP

 

At least 10 people died in a fire inside a hospital in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil, on Thursday evening with rescuers desperately trying to evacuate scores of patients from the building, the fire service said.

The fire broke out at dusk at the Badim hospital in the north of the city, with first reports suggesting the cause was a short circuit in a generator in the oldest part of the complex.

“At least 10 people died,” the Rio de Janeiro fire department said in a statement, without specifying whether the victims were patients or workers.

“About 90 patients had to be transferred to other medical units.”

READ ALSO: Philippines Arrests 270 Chinese Citizens In Fraud Raid

The blaze was brought under control by 8:00pm (2300 GMT), and fire fighters searched until the early hours of Friday to recover bodies from the scene.

During the emergency evacuation, dozens of trolly beds and stretchers were taken into the surrounding streets as ambulances struggled to get through crowds of curious onlookers to rush the most vulnerable patients to other hospitals.

Dense black smoke poured out of one side of the hospital, a private facility in the Tijuca neighborhood, as doctors, nurses and volunteers ran inside to rescue patients.

33 Bodies Recovered After California Dive Boat Disaster

FBI personnel stand on a jetty in front of the ships Vision (L) and Truth, sister vessels of the diving ship Conception, in Santa Barbara Harbor on September 4, 2019 in Santa Barbara, California. MARIO TAMA / GETTY IMAGES NORTH AMERICA / AFP

 

Rescue workers have recovered a total of 33 bodies from a scuba-diving boat disaster off the coast of California, authorities said Wednesday, adding that one person remains missing.

Search operations for survivors were suspended Tuesday morning, and rescuers have begun an operation to free remains still trapped in the wreckage, which sank 66 feet (20 meters), and to determine the cause of the catastrophe.

The remains of 11 women and nine men were found after the 75-foot Conception caught fire and sank early Monday, trapping passengers below deck beneath the roaring blaze.

Divers have since recovered 13 other bodies, according to the Santa Barbara County sheriff’s department, which is in charge of the investigation.

All the remains have been transported to coroner offices for DNA identification. Authorities have not released details on any victims’ identities.

The boat had been on a diving excursion around Santa Cruz Island, just west of Santa Barbara in southern California.

A total of 39 people — six crew members and 33 passengers — were on board, officials said.

Five crew members were awake and jumped into the water when flames burst out around 3:15 am Monday. They were rescued by a nearby pleasure craft.

The remaining 34 people on board, who were sleeping below deck, appear to have been trapped by the flames.

The fire was so intense that firefighters were unable to board the boat, which sank as they tried to extinguish the blaze. The cause of the disaster is currently unknown.

The website for Truth Aquatics, which owned the Conception, said the ship was scheduled to return Monday from a three-day trip after visiting several diving spots around Santa Cruz Island.

Built in 1981 and with bunks for up to 46 people, the Conception was just 20 yards (meters) off the island’s northern shore when disaster struck.

The area is popular for a variety of water and outdoor sports.

Death Toll Rises To 28 In Mexico Bar Fire Attack

 

Gunmen burst into a Mexican strip club in a hail of bullets and killed at least 28 people as they trapped revelers inside and started a raging fire, officials said Wednesday.

Many of the dead were dancers who worked there, according to managers.

President Andres Manuel Lopez Obrador condemned the “shameful” attack in the city of Coatzacoalcos, and said federal authorities would investigate evidence it may have stemmed from collusion between local authorities and organized crime.

The Tuesday night attack, which also left nine people badly wounded, is the latest to rock the state of Veracruz, a flashpoint in turf wars between Mexico’s rival drug cartels and a hotbed of political corruption.

Survivors said gunmen sprayed bullets when they descended on the bar, the Caballo Blanco (White Horse), then blocked the exits and set the club alight.

Because of the loud reggaeton music pounding inside, many patrons and dancers did not notice the attack until the bar was in flames, they said.

Authorities said many of the victims died of smoke inhalation. It was not immediately clear whether some died of gunshot wounds.

“They arrived in several vehicles, with rifles and pistols. They threatened the security guards at the door and took control of the entrance,” one survivor told an AFP reporter, speaking on condition of anonymity, as frantic relatives gathered at the bar looking for their loved ones.

Veracruz Governor Cuitlahuac Garcia tweeted that authorities had identified one of the attackers as Ricardo “N” — Mexican law bars the release of suspects’ full names — adding that he was a repeat offender known as “La Loca” (“The Crazy One”).

The suspect was previously arrested last month, but was released by state prosecutors within 48 hours, Garcia said.

President Lopez Obrador said federal authorities would investigate why.

“There’s a problem there that needs to be investigated regarding the actions of the Veracruz prosecutor’s office,” said Lopez Obrador, a leftist elected last year on an anti-corruption platform.

“There are two things going on here: one is this shameful act by organized crime, the most inhuman thing possible; the other, which is also reprehensible, is a possible conspiracy with the authorities,” he told a news conference.

The Veracruz prosecutor’s office denied wrongdoing, and said in a statement it was in fact the federal prosecutor’s office that released Ricardo “N.”

Attackers blocked emergency exits

Veracruz is one of the most violent states in the country.

Its location on the Gulf of Mexico makes it a strategic route for drug cartels and for human traffickers bringing undocumented migrants to the United States.

Coatzacoalcos, a port city of 235,000 people, has been among those hardest hit by the resulting violence.

The governor told reporters the group that attacked the White Horse was vying for control of the drug trade there.

The interior of the bar was left wrecked and charred. The naked body of a woman who had been mid-routine was sprawled on the dance floor next to the striptease poles.

Ten of the club’s 25 dancers were killed, managers said.

“My niece starting dancing here a few months ago. She was a single mom, and she wanted to give her daughter a better life and go back to school,” said Maria Vazquez, whose 22-year-old niece Sugedy was among the dead.

Local media reported two sailors from the Philippines were also killed. The Philippine embassy in Mexico City said it was investigating the report.

Hit squads, corruption

Mexico, the chief supplier of narcotics to the United States, has been hit by a wave of violence since declaring war on drugs and deploying the army to fight its powerful cartels in 2006.

Since then, more than 250,000 people have been murdered, including a record 33,753 last year.

The situation in Veracruz has been particularly grim. Jailed ex-governor Javier Duarte (2010-2016) is accused of presiding over a rash of corruption and human rights abuses.

Two former state police chiefs and a string of ex-officials have been charged with running hit squads that abducted and presumably killed unwanted individuals during Duarte’s administration.

How Attackers Killed 26 In Mexico Bar Fire

 

Gunmen burst into a Mexican strip club in a hail of bullets and killed at least 26 people as they trapped revellers inside and started a raging fire, officials said Wednesday.

President Andres Manuel Lopez Obrador condemned the “shameful” attack in the city of Coatzacoalcos, and said federal authorities would investigate evidence it may have stemmed from collusion between local authorities and organized crime.

The Tuesday night attack, which officials said also left 11 people badly wounded, is the latest to rock the state of Veracruz, a flashpoint in bloody turf wars between Mexico’s rival drug cartels and a hotbed of political corruption.

Survivors said gunmen sprayed bullets as they descended on the bar, the Caballo Blanco (White Horse), then blocked the exits and set the club alight.

Because of the loud reggaeton music pounding inside, many patrons and dancers did not even notice the attack until the bar was in flames, they said.

Authorities said many of the victims died of smoke inhalation. It was not immediately clear whether some died of gunshot wounds.

“They arrived in several vehicles, with rifles and pistols. They threatened the security guards at the door and took control of the entrance,” one survivor told an AFP reporter, speaking on condition of anonymity, as frantic relatives gathered at the bar looking for their loved ones.

Veracruz Governor Cuitlahuac Garcia tweeted that authorities had identified one of the attackers as Ricardo “N” — Mexican law bars the release of suspects’ full names — adding that he was a repeat offender known as “La Loca” (“The Crazy One”).

The suspect was previously arrested last month, but was released by state prosecutors within 48 hours, Garcia said.

President Lopez Obrador said federal authorities would investigate why.

“There’s a problem there that needs to be investigated regarding the actions of the Veracruz prosecutor’s office,” said Lopez Obrador, a leftist elected last year on an anti-corruption platform.

“There are two things going on here: one is this shameful act by organized crime, the most inhuman thing possible; the other, which is also reprehensible, is a possible conspiracy with the authorities,” he told a news conference.

The Veracruz prosecutor’s office denied wrongdoing, and said in a statement that it was in fact the federal prosecutor’s office that released Ricardo “N.”

– Attackers blocked emergency exits –
Veracruz is one of the most violent states in the country.

Its location on the Gulf of Mexico coast makes it a strategic route for drug cartels and for human traffickers bringing undocumented migrants to the United States.

Coatzacoalcos, a port city of 235,000 people, has been among those hardest hit by the resulting violence.

The governor told reporters the group that attacked the White Horse was vying for control of the drug trade there.

Some survivors said the attackers doused the nightclub in gasoline to set it alight. Others said they threw Molotov cocktails.

The interior of the bar was wrecked and charred, with chairs overturned and debris littering the floor.

The naked body of a woman who had been mid-routine was sprawled on the dance floor next to the striptease poles.

Outside, anguished relatives cried and embraced as they waited for news, while soldiers, police and paramedics worked the scene.

“I just want to know if he’s OK,” said a mother looking for her son, an employee at the bar, after searching for him in vain at local hospitals.

“Have you seen my daughter? She was a dancer,” said another.

– Hit squads, corruption –
Mexico, the chief supplier of narcotics to the United States, has been hit by a wave of violence since declaring war on drugs and deploying the army to fight its powerful cartels in 2006.

Since then, more than 250,000 people have been murdered, including a record 33,753 last year.

The situation in Veracruz has been particularly grim. Jailed ex-governor Javier Duarte (2010-2016) is accused of presiding over a rash of corruption and human rights abuses.

Two former state police chiefs and a string of ex-officials have been charged with running hit squads that abducted and presumably killed unwanted individuals during Duarte’s administration.

Brazil Blames Amazon Fires On NGOs

Brazilian President Jair Bolsonaro gestures during the International Youth Day celebration at Planalto Palace in Brasilia on August 16, 2019.  EVARISTO SA / AFP

 

The head of INPE, the agency tasked with monitoring forest clearing, was sacked over the figures.

While it was not possible Wednesday to measure the size of the area affected by fires, thick smoke in recent days has blanketed several cities, including Sao Paulo, and caused a commercial flight to be diverted.

Forest fires tend to intensify during the dry season, which usually ends in late October or early November, as land is cleared to make way for crops or grazing.

But the WWF has blamed this year’s sharp increase in accelerating deforestation in the Amazon, which is seen as crucial to keeping climate change in check.

“Historically, in this region, the use of fire is directly linked to deforestation as it is one of the techniques for tree clearing,” WWF said in a statement.

Bolsonaro hit back Wednesday, saying “criminal action by those NGOs, to call attention against me, against the Brazilian government” following funding cuts may be the reason for the forest fires.

“This is the war that we are facing,” Bolsonaro told reporters.

“The fires were lit in strategic places. All the indications suggest they went there to film and start fires. That’s what I feel.”

 Deforestation under scrutiny 

Bolsonaro’s comments come as Brazil hosts a UN regional meeting on climate change in the northeastern city of Salvador ahead of December’s summit in Chile.

The 25th UN Conference on Climate Change (COP25) was originally planned for Brazil, but the country pulled out, citing impossible objectives.

Activists held a protest in the city where they denounced Bolsonaro’s latest accusation as “absurd”.

“The fires are the consequence of a policy of environmental devastation, of support for agribusiness, of increasing pastures,” Camila Veiga of the Brazilian Association of NGOs told AFP.

Speaking on the sidelines of the week-long workshop, Environment Minister Ricardo Salles defended the government’s efforts to prevent illegal deforestation.

“All the rules on illegal deforestation have been upheld, all strategies have continued to be enforced,” Salles said.

“Unfortunately both the states and the federal government suffer because of the economic crisis, budget cuts, which hinders… enforcement operations.”

The forest fires have fueled criticism of Bolsonaro’s anti-environment rhetoric, which activists blame for emboldening loggers, miners and farmers in the Amazon.

Salvador mayor Antonio Carlos Magalhaes told AFP that, if necessary, “political forces” in Brazil would work “to block any attempt at radical or extreme decisions” on the environment by Bolsonaro’s government.

“Our country is concerned about the environment, our country is concerned with the preservation of its natural heritage, our country does not want to regress on this agenda, it wants to move forward,” Magalhaes said.

Norway joined Germany on Thursday in halting Amazon protection subsidies, accusing Brazil of turning its back on the fight against deforestation.

Worsening relations between Brazil and Europe has worried about the powerful agriculture sector, which fears a backlash from its key markets.

AFP