A fire at a greenhouse farm in southeast of Moscow killed at least eight migrants on Tuesday morning.
The victims included seven men and one woman who were all illegal migrants working at the greenhouse farm. One person was reported to have been injured, according to The Associated Press.
Initially, the victims were mistakenly thought to be Tajiks by Russia’s Emergency Ministry, but later they were identified as Vietnamese.
Deputy emergency minister Anatoly Suprunovsky said the victims were Vietnamese nationals, according to a video published by the Mash Telegram channel, the Moscow Times reported.
The fire started early morning in the district of Ramenskoye, southeast of Moscow, and soon escalated to an area of 240 square meters, officials said, according to the Moscow Times.
The migrant workers lived in one of the metal construction trailers where the fire initially broke out.
The Moscow Times reported that it took more than eight hours for firefighters to fully extinguish the fire, based on a statement on the Emergency Situations Ministry website.
Moscow Times said that officials believed “faulty wiring” caused the blaze.
The deadly fires often break out during the New Year holiday in Russia when people often drink more alcohol and celebrate using fireworks.
Deadly Blaze at German Zoo on New Year’s Eve
In a similar blaze during the New Year holidays in Germany, a zoo in the city of Krefeld in West Germany was destroyed after three women launched paper sky lanterns to mark the New Year, igniting a deadly fire that killed more than 30 animals.
The blaze on New Year’s Eve night destroyed an ape house, killing five orangutans, several monkeys, two gorillas, and a chimpanzee. Birds and fruit bats could not escape the fire and perished as well, according to The Associated Press.
The three family members are being investigated for negligent arson, prosecutor Jens Frobel said. If found guilty, they could be sentenced to jail for up to five years.
The women, who voluntarily reported themselves to the police, said that they bought the sky lanterns online and did not know that they were banned, Deutsche Welle reported.