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Fire, Explosion Kill 7 in Russia

September 5, 2002

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MOSCOW (AP) _ A fire and explosion killed seven workers and injured three others during repairs at a sports complex in the industrial Volga River city of Togliatti, officials said.

A spokeswoman for the Emergency Situations Ministry in Moscow, Tatyana Andreyeva, said polyurethane caught fire while workers were renovating a building at the complex and that welding fuel canisters exploded.

Togliatti emergency department spokesman Anatoly Kolesnikov said some of the victims may have died from inhaling smoke or fumes from the blaze.

Both officials said three people were hospitalized and their condition was not immediately known.

The sport complex belongs to the Kuibyshevazot factory in the city known for auto production and 500 miles southeast of Moscow. The complex is a few miles from the factory.

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