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Deaths twice as high this year amid smog

world Updated: Aug 09, 2010 15:22 IST

The Russian capital's chief health official reportedly says the number of deaths in Moscow is twice as high as usual because of smog suffocating the city from ongoing wildfires nearby.

The Interfax news agency quotes Andrei Seltsovky on Monday as saying there are now 1,300 bodies in city morgues, which have a 1,500 capacity.

He says this is twice the usual number for this time of year, and in part blames the sweltering heat and the polluting smog hanging over the capital from wildfires burning in the south and west of the country.

For a fourth day air pollutants were registered on Monday at dangerous levels. Weekend concentrations of carbon monoxide and other poisonous substances were seven times higher than what is considered safe, and on Monday were two to three times higher than the safe limit.