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17 die in fire at Ukraine home for elderly

Seventeen people died when a makeshift home for elderly people outside the Ukrainian capital Kiev caught fire in the early hours of  Sunday, the emergencies service said.

“The bodies of 17 people have been found at the site of the fire,” the head of Ukraine’s state emergencies service, Mykola Chechetkin, said in comments released by his office.

The fire tore through the temporary two-storey shelter for the elderly which was located in the village of Litochky, located some 50 kilometres (31 miles) north of Kiev. Citing preliminary information, the service said that 35 people were at the shelter when the fire broke out in the early hours of Sunday.

Eighteen people have been rescued and five of them have been hospitalised, said the 
service, adding that the fire had been extinguished by Sunday morning.

Ukrainian President Petro Poroshenko has been notified of the blaze, the government said in a statement, adding that Prime Minister Volodymyr Groysman had tasked officials with creating a 
special commission to look into the fire. Groysman expressed condolences to the families of those 
who had perished in the “terrible tragedy,” the government said in a statement. 
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