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Azerbaijan: 25 die in morning fire at drug rehab center

March 2, 2018

In this video grab provided by APA TV - Azerbaijan's television, firefighters work at the scene of a fire at a drug rehabilitation clinic in Baku, Azerbaijan, Friday, March 2, 2018. Authorities in Azerbaijan say at least 24 people have been killed in a fire at a drug rehabilitation clinic in the capital Friday morning. (APA TV via AP)

BAKU, Azerbaijan (AP) — Authorities in Azerbaijan say at least 25 people have been killed in a fire at a residential drug treatment center in the country’s capital.

Police and prosecutors said in a joint statement that the fire broke out at 6 a.m. local time (0200 GMT) on Friday in Baku and took three hours to extinguish.

An electrical short circuit is believed to have sparked the blaze at the clinic, which occupies an old, one-story wooden building.

Azerbaijan’s Health Ministry says 34 people have been rescued from the building and 200 patients and staff members were evacuated. Three people were hospitalized.

The office of the Azerbaijani president said he had arrived at the scene to oversee the rescue effort and ordered an investigation.

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