MOSCOW (AP) ? At least 38 people died in a fire in a psychiatric hospital outside Moscow late Thursday night.
Police said the fire, which broke out at about 2 a.m. local time (6 p.m. Eastern, 2200 GMT) in the one-story hospital in the Ramenskoye settlement, was caused by a short circuit, the RIA Novosti reported on Friday.
Officials from the Russian Investigative Committee later said they are looking at poor fire regulations and short circuit as possible causes.
By early Friday morning, investigators listed 38 people ? 36 patients and two doctors ? as dead. Only three nurses managed to escape. The emergency services also posted a list of the patients indicating they ranged in age from 20 to 76.
Health Ministry officials said that hospital housed patients with severe mental disorders. Vadim Belovoshin from the emergency situations ministry official told the Itar-TASS news agency that the windows in the hospital were barred but said there were two fire escapes.
Belovoshin also said that it took fire fighters an hour to get to the hospital following an emergency call because a local ferry across the river was closed and the fire fighters had to make a detour.
Deadly fires are common in Russia because of wide-spread violations of fire safety rules.