BAKU – At least 25 people have been killed after a fire ripped through a drug rehabilitation center in the capital of Azerbaijan, officials said on Friday.
The cause of the fire at the medical establishment in Baku was as yet unknown.
“Thirty-one people were evacuated from the center, four of those have been hospitalized,” Health Ministry spokesperson Liya Bayramova told EFE.
Local authorities estimated that some 56 people were in the rehabilitation center – an old one-story building – when the fire broke out.
The fire began at around 6:00 am and firefighters battled the flames for three hours before they were able to put an end to the inferno, according to a joint statement from the ministries of health and interior affairs and the state prosecutor’s office.
The bodies of the 25 victims were pulled from the charred building.
Azerbaijani President Ilham Aliyev arrived at the scene of the fire and gave instructions to assist the families of the victims, the presidential press office said in a statement.