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16 dead in warehouse blaze

world Updated: Nov 09, 2009 22:18 IST

AP
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Kazakhstan's emergency services ministry says at least 16 people have been killed in a fire at a warehouse on the outskirts of the capital, Astana.

Officials say the concrete building was covered with a foam material that likely helped the fire spread quickly. It was unclear how many people were in the building when the fire broke out, and emergency workers were searching the site for other victims.

Safety violations are common in much of the former Soviet Union. At least 38 people were killed in a fire at a drug treatment center in Kazakhstan in September.