A fire engulfed a Russian military research institution involved in building air defence systems in the northwestern city of Tver on Thursday, killing six individuals, according to reports.
Russian media showed dense black smoke rising from the four-story building housing the Russian Air and Space Forces’ Central Research Institute. According to sources, several institute personnel had to jump out of windows on the upper floors to escape the flames.
The Tver regional government claimed six people were killed and 21 were injured in the fire. According to preliminary evidence, the fire was started by faulty electrical wiring, according to the state news agency TASS.
According to the defence ministry, the institute focuses on Russian air and space defence research and the development of new anti-aircraft systems.
Accidental fires are prevalent in Russia, where hundreds of blazes are reported each year due to ageing and damaged infrastructure and noncompliance with generally inadequate safety requirements.
This comes as Vladimir Putin declares victory over the Ukrainian city of Mariupol, saying the city has been ‘liberated’ after his soldiers spent weeks turning it into wreckage in a terrible siege.
Putin instructed Minister Sergei Shoigu to seal off the Azovstal steel complex in a televised encounter, where the last Ukrainian forces are holed up.
Apart from the plant, the Russian military now dominates the Ukrainian port city, according to Defence Minister Sergei Shoigu.
Putin cancelled plans to raid the Azovstal complex in Mariupol, where the last Ukrainian troops had been defending themselves against the Russian invasion.
“There’s no need to climb into these catacombs and crawl underground through these industrial facilities,” he added. He instructed his troops to “block off this industrial zone so that not even a fly may escape.”