Monday, May 5, 2014

Dozens Killed in Odessa Fire amid Clashes

At least 31 people have been killed in a fire in an official building amid violence in Odessa in south-west Ukraine, the interior ministry says. The deaths came as pro-Russian protesters clashed with Ukrainian government supporters in the city. Officials said some people were overwhelmed by smoke and others died after they jumped from the building. Earlier President Oleksandr Turchynov said many separatists had been killed in a government offensive in Sloviansk. Activists have seized scores of government buildings and detained observers in eastern Ukraine. The fire broke out in Odessa's Trade Unions House, the regional office of Ukraine's interior ministry said. It did not give details of how the blaze started. The exact sequence of events is still unclear, but reports suggest the separatists had barricaded themselves inside the building and both sides were throwing petrol bombs. The interior ministry gave a toll of at least 31 dead, revising down an earlier tally of 38 killed.

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