Sources: Rosbalt, Vesti, Day.az
The May 19 deadly fire in Baku’s Binagadi district, which left 16 people dead, spurred concerns about the safety of construction and renovation projects taking place in the run-up to the European Games.
Scores were injured and 16 died, including
, in the second fire in a plastic-coated building in less than three months. Panic and horrifying scenes ensnared the region. One man jumped out of the 8th floor and crashed on the pavement, according to
. The family of the man remained trapped in their burning home.
The horrendous blaze raised questions about the usage of flammable materials in construction and renovation projects taking place ahead of the European Games. Plastic cladding provides older buildings with newer looks but is highly hazardous for residents.
Two fires this spring are testament to the rising dangers of living in plastic-coated buildings – the danger overlooked by the Azerbaijani government eager to impress the international community, as local residents note.
Prosecutor General Zakir Garalov stated that “the cause of the fire was the poor quality of cladding material, according to preliminary information” and vowed that an investigation would be launched.
Meanwhile, citizens are taking matters into their own hands by taking down flammable polyurethane coats from buildings,
reported. More than 800 buildings in Baku are covered with the hazardous cladding.
Local media reported that company Global Construction, owned by a relative of an unspecified high-ranking official, was responsible for cladding buildings with plastic. Global Construction head Miryusikh Mahmudov was detained, according to
Several cars parked in the vicinity of the building were also damaged in the fire. The 16-storey building houses 54 apartments. According to
, it took four hours to extinguish the fire.