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Cold Kills 16 in Moscow

January 22, 2001

MOSCOW (AP) _ Sixteen people died of hypothermia in Moscow over the past week and 114 were hospitalized because of the cold, a health official said Monday.

Of those hospitalized, 21 suffered from frostbite and one was struck by a falling icicle, said Lyubov Zhomova, a spokeswoman with the Moscow City health committee.

The deaths brought to 104 the number of people who have died of hypothermia in the capital since Oct. 10. Temperatures in Moscow have hovered around 10 degrees in recent days, about normal for the city this time of year. Officials have said most of those who died were homeless people or alcoholics who passed out in the freezing weather without shelter.

In the town of Khingansk in Russia’s Far East, eight apartment buildings lost heat as temperatures dropped to minus 70 on Sunday, the ITAR-Tass news agency reported Monday. The report did not mention any injuries.

Severe winter weather in the Primorsky territory in the Far East also caused central heating systems to fail in 142 apartment houses on Monday, affecting about 16,000 people, said Emergency Situations Ministry spokesman Alexander Balykin.

Primorsky and some other Russian regions are mired in an energy crisis prompted by debts that have left thousands cold and in the dark for weeks at a time this winter.