History 10/01/20 Fire in “Russia”: how many people died in the largest hotel of Europe.
Despite the fact that on this subject written dozens of articles, filmed movies and documentaries, TV shows, the story of the fire in one of the largest hotels in the world and the largest in Europe is still shrouded in mystery – the official cause of the fire in “Russia” has not been set.
What happened then
According to the memoirs of a former employee of the Moscow fire Department Yury Kuznetsov, who participated in extinguishing the fire at the hotel “Russia”, happened in late February 1977, this state of emergency almost immediately was rated the highest, fifth level of danger. Upon arrival of the first of the guard fire burned for several floors of the building, consisting of three connected 12-storey buildings. The first signal on fire entered the remote duty at ten o’clock in the evening of that fateful Friday.
At the hotel at that time, there were over 6 thousand people living and staff. Firefighters watched as people on burning floors, trying to escape, jumped from a window to his death – fire blazed from 9 floors and above.
fire elimination involved about a thousand firefighters and more than 150 emergency vehicles. The chief of staff of firefighting Vasily Lyashchenko said that fire escapes are mostly reaching only to the 8th floor, firefighters had during the rescue operation to invent ways of evacuation of people. Rescuers noted the strange manner of distribution of fire – individual floors burned completely, and next to them were untouched by the fire. People suffocated from carbon monoxide filled the staircases and do not let down. Many stayed in the room, as the fire knocked out the window glass that only added to the air flow and exacerbate the situation.
the Fire in the “Russia” gathered several high-ranking officials of the USSR – to the burning hotel came Chairman of the Council of Ministers Alexei Kosygin, the heads of the interior Ministry, the KGB and the Ministry of defense Nikolay Shchelokov, Yuri Andropov, Dmitry Ustinov, the first Secretary of the IHL Viktor Grishin. According to Vasily Lyashchenko, “entourage” these bosses are only hurt to direct the rescue operation.
a Separate stage of evacuation of people from a burning building was to rescue the over 200 visitors and staff of the restaurant “the Kremlin” who had to wait the firemen three hours.
ultimately, to completely eliminate the fire was only towards the morning.
there did Arkady Raikin
the most popular at that time in the USSR the entertainer on 25 February in the concert hall “Russia” was a concert. According to the doctor of arts Elizabeth Uvarov, personal biographer Raikin was sold out – 2.5 thousand spectators. The artist, when he was called directly during his speech, extended the program for an hour and a half.
it is Curious that there are two completely different versions of the reaction Arkady Raikin on the information about the fire.
Alexander Karpov, Raikin worked in his Theatre of miniatures, in particular, and on the same concert (later the actor played the role of jeweller in the TV series “the Hotel “Russia”), recalled that then came “men in mufti” and “highly recommended” to “extend” the concert as possible. And about the reason of such a request, the actor allegedly did not report. Although the concert hall and was out of the danger zone, the possible panic of the audience could lead to tragedy.
Elizabeth Uvarov argues that on the contrary, Arkady Raikin, allegedly offered to suspend the concert in connection with a fire in the building. But he decided not to, to “avoid Khodynka”. According to Uvarov, Raikin about the fire knew and even “felt a light burning smell”.
What ended the investigation
Under fire in Russia killed 43 people (including 13 firefighters) and another 52 were injured varying degrees of severity. Taking into account deaths in the hospital the number of victims increased by half. In “Russia” burned over 80 rooms.
the cause of the fire is still not installed – the firemen participating in liquidation of emergency, formed the opinion that this was done intentionally. At least, their participation in the investigation was not allowed. The hotel urgently began to make repairs, thereby “hiding” possible evidence, which could cause a fire. Manager initially recorded simultaneously the signals of fires on different floors of the building that made me think of arson.
the Same version of the incident from the chief of the rear of the headquarters of the fire in hotel “Russia” Vladimir Zaitsev. He believes that this prevalence of fire his only source to give not. A hypothesis about the misuse of electrical appliances, the only officiallooking, do seriously consider not worth it. Zaitsev conducted its own investigation into the incident, gathering expert data, interviewed victims, witnesses. But all the documents including the copy of the document on the classification of the case of the fire in hotel “Russia”, one day disappeared without a trace.
© Russian Seven
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