Dramatic images have emerged of a fire in a Russian nightclub that killed more than 100 revellers and injured 130 more.
They were celebrating the eighth anniversary of the Lame Horse club in Perm, 1,100 kilometres east of Moscow, when the party went disastrously wrong. A firework ignited wickerwork covering the ceiling and walls, filling the room with toxic smoke, and sparking a panicked rush for the exit. There were more than 200 people inside when the blaze took hold. Outside, the dead and the injured littered the pavement. The Ministry for Emergencies said about half of those injured were in a serious condition, suffering the effects of smoke inhalation. One eyewitness is reported to have said many people were blocked from reaching the exit and suffocated as a result. Russia’s domestic security service said they had found no trace of explosives at the scene, and officials played down talk of terrorist involvement. Prime Minister Vladimir Putin has sent three of his senior ministers to Perm to oversee the investigation. The Prosecutor General’s main detective unit has opened a criminal case over suspected breaches of health and safety regulations at the club. The blaze was the most deadly in Russia in recent years.