DUSHANBE, May 19, 2011, Asia-Plus -- The number of Tajiks killed in a fire that broke out in downtown Moscow on May 17 has risen to five.

The Tajik Embassy in Moscow says other two bodies of those killed in the blaze have been identified.  They proved to be Tajik citizens Qahramon Marajabov, 38, from Sughd’s Bobojonghafurov district and Ishoq Rajabov, 48, from Khatlon’s Bokhtar district.  “Thus, the number of Tajiks killed in the blaze has risen to five,” the source said.

We will recall that a May 17 fire in a three-storey building in downtown Moscow killed seven people and severely injured nine more.

Five men killed in the blaze were Tajik nationals: Alikhon Saidnaimov, 26, from GBAO’s Shugnan district, Naimsho Saidnaimov, 19, from GBAO’s Shugnan district, Qurbon Ahmadov, 55, from Sughd’s Jabborrasulov district, Qahramon Marajabov, 38, from Sughd’s Bobojonghafurov district and Ishoq Rajabov, 48, from Khatlon’s Bokhtar district.

The other two bodies were badly burned and have not yet been identified.

The fire reportedly broke out in a 19th-century three-storey apartment block on Bolshoi Afansyevsky Lane, close to the historic Arbat Street, Tuesday morning, at 5:54 am.  A total of 15 firefighting units were reportedly involved in extinguishing the blaze.

RIA Novosti quoted the Moscow firefighting service chief Ilya Denisov as saying that the apartment block was in a poor condition and the owners were fined in February for failure to comply with fire safety requirements.  “Maintenance work on the building was suspended in 2009; it was unfit for living in,” Denisov said.

Russian media outlets report that according to the preliminary investigation, the blaze may have been caused by antiquated electrical wiring and/or by misuse in the building, which housed labor migrants from Central Asia.

Firefighters say they rescued 20 people from the building, many of them children.

The news agency, REGNUM, reports Kyrgyz citizens were injured in the Moscow fire.  REGNUM quoted the Kyrgyz MFA press service as saying that according to the preliminary data, Baatyrbek
Mazamatis Uulu, Nuraiym Almanbetova, and two small children, Meernisa Aitnazarova, and Emir Aitnazarov – sustained various burn wounds and were hospitalized.

Tajik President Emomali Rahmon yesterday ordered the Ministry of Foreign Affairs and the Interior Ministry of Tajikistan to take adequate measures to find out the cause of the fire in Moscow downtown that killed at least five Tajik citizens and provide assistance to families of Tajik nationals who died in the Moscow blaze.

Russia’s Investigation Committee has launched probe into the accident under the provisions of Article 109 of Russia’s Penal Code – infliction of death by accident.