Emergency officials had demanded the facility be closed after it failed a fire safety check earlier this year. The hospital administration, however, won permission to continue using it until next year.
The head of Russia’s top state investigation agency, Yekaterina Gilina, flew to the area to personally oversee a probe. Gilina said on Rossiya 24 the probe will look into whether hospital officials had fulfilled a court order to fix the flaws in the building.
Russia has a poor fire safety record with about 12,000 fire deaths reported in 2012. By comparison, the U.S., with a population roughly double Russia’s, recorded around 3,000 fire deaths in 2011.
A fire at a psychiatric hospital near Moscow killed 38 people in April.