Fifteen people were killed on Thursday after a blaze tore through a nursing home in the eastern Ukrainian city of Kharkiv.
The fire broke out on the second floor of the care home in the ex-Soviet republic, which is one of the poorest countries in Europe.
President Volodymyr Zelensky described the incident as “a terrible tragedy” and said 33 people had been in the building when the fire broke out.
Eyewitnesses saw smoke billowing from one of the charred second-floor windows as firefighters assessed the damage.
Zelensky confirmed the death toll of 15 reported by emergency services, adding: “We all pray that there will be no more.”
It was not clear in the immediate aftermath of the fire how many of the survivors were taken to nearby medical facilities for treatment.
The emergency services reported nine people had been injured and five of them admitted to nearby hospitals, while a prosecutor said 11 people were injured.
The emergency services said the fire was extinguished less than two hours after it broke out, adding that around 50 firefighters took part in the operation.
Venedyktova said the authorities were investigating the misuse of electric heaters as a possible cause of the blaze.
The facility, called “Zolotoye Vremya” (Golden Time), is located among a clutch of low-rise buildings on the western outskirts of Ukraine’s second-largest city. Source: AFP