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Residential building inferno kills 16 in Baku

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By Alexander Aucott
Residential building inferno kills 16 in Baku

At least 16 people have been killed and dozens wounded in a fire that ripped through a residential building in Azerbaijan’s capital, Baku.

Emergency services used cherry pickers and helicopters to rescue residents from the 16 story building while trying to quash the flames with fire hoses.

The victims were said to be mostly women and children with at least one jumping from a window to escape the flames.

Bad quality plastic paneling that covered the exterior is being blamed for fueling the inferno.

Some of the old Stalin-era buildings in the former Soviet republic are given “face-lifts” to look modern and blend in with the many new skyscrapers in the capital.

Police have arrested the general manager of a local construction company according to the Interior Ministry.

It is the second case of a residential building bursting in to flames in Baku this month, though the former resulted in no injuries.

Azerbaijani President Ilham Aliev says he has taken personal control of the investigation.