A fire at the state-run Republican Narcological Centre in Baku reportedly killed 25 patients in the early morning of March 2.
Officials stated that the clinic housed about 200 patients and 14 staff members when the incident took place. By the time fire brigades managed to extinguish the flames, 25 patients had perished. According to Ayten Samedova, a representative of the drug rehabilitation center, the victims had been kept separate from other patients. Samedova explained that they required special surveillance and were locked up due to mental health or behavioral disorders.
“We would not have liked this to happen. Like everyone else, we too are upset about what happened. (…) We have always taken measures to prevent such things from happening. On behalf of the clinic, we extend our condolences to the loved ones of those killed and wish good health to those who were saved.”
President Ilham Aliyev, who
visited the site
after the fire had been extinguished, set up a
to investigate the causes of the fire and deal with its aftermath, including providing assistance to the families of those injured or killed, temporary accommodation of the center’s staff and patients, and the construction of a new facility.
A preliminary investigation suggests that the fire broke out due to a short circuit in the clinic’s electrical wiring system.
Russian President Vladimir Putin sent his
to President Aliyev.
BakuPost reported that even though the incident was widely covered by Azerbaijan’s online media outlets and the main topic of social media discussions, the country’s TV channels did not change their programs or reported on the news.