Major fire at the biggest cold storage plant in St. Petersburg, latest sabotage in Russia

A cold storage facility has caught fire in Russia’s city of St. Petersburg, with black smoke plumes visible from across the city.

The fire covers an area of about 1,500 square meters, and over 80 people are involved in putting it out. A massive column of grey smoke rises into the sky, covering the city.

The fire has been assigned the second complexity rating meaning that the fire needs a total of six fire departments to put out.

On April 12, a similar blaze that broke out in St. Petersburg’s Nevskaya Manufactura factory has increased by 2.5 times, from 4,000 to 10,000 square kilometers, the press service for the Russian Emergencies Ministry told TASS Monday.

“The fire area has increased to 10,000 square kilometers,” the press service noted.

The blaze in the Nevskaya Manufactura factory started on Monday morning. One firefighter has died battling it, two more were rushed to the hospital with burns. The factory’s roofing and floor deck reaching 1,500 square kilometers have collapsed as a result. Aviation is involved in the extinguishing operation. TASS reports from the site that the fire continues now, flames can be seen out of the windows.

In 2018, officials said that multiple safety rules were violated and an alarm system was not working when an inferno in a shopping centre in the Siberian city of Kemerovo killed 64 people including 41 children.

In December, a fire engulfed a retirement home in the Bashkortostan region south of the Ural Mountains, killing 11 people. Officials said that the building had violated safety requirements by housing too many people.

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