13 people die in hostel fire in Almaty, Kazakhstan

13 people die in hostel fire in Almaty, Kazakhstan

Almaty, Kazakhstan (AFP): At least 13 people were killed in a hostel fire that broke out in Kazakhstan’s largest city Almaty before sunrise on Thursday, according to the city’s emergency situations department.

“In the course of reconnaissance and extinguishing the fire, 13 dead were initially discovered, their identities are being established,” the department said in a statement. “Preliminarily, they died of carbon monoxide poisoning.”

The fire on Adi Sharipov Street, in the centre of the former capital, was reported just after 5:30 am (2330 GMT Wednesday). Firefighters arrived seven minutes later to find the basement of a three-storey residential building burning, according to the statement.

The emergency department said that 72 people were staying at the hostel at the time of the fire, 59 of whom had safely evacuated.

By 6:22 am, the fire was extinguished.

The cause of the incident is under investigation.