Russian authorities say 17 immigrant workers are known to have died in a fire overnight at a covered market in southern Moscow.
The fire swept through a warehouse housing the workers. Unconfirmed reports say they’d come from Tajikistan to work at the market.
A city spokesman described conditions in the warehouse as “terribly cramped”, with migrants sleeping on wooden bunks four-deep. They had no way out and were trapped by the flames.
Fire crews had to cut through metal doors to get inside.
One official has been quoted as saying the origin of the fire may have been an electric heater.
Tens of thousands of people from the former Soviet republics work in Moscow’s markets and on building sites, often living in poor conditions.