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Grigory Pasko: The Perm Nightclub Fire

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According to preliminary data, 110 people died because of the fire in the nightclub in Perm. Over 100 are considered wounded and victims.

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In all, there were 233 people spending a night out at the Lame Horse nightclub, situated in the center of Perm, when the incident occurred. In the opinion of eyewitnesses, the incident was caused by “unsanctioned use of pyrotechnics, touching off a fire,” (What difference does “unsanctioned” make here? So what if it had been sanctioned? And who was supposed to do the sanctioning, anyway?)


In the wake of this fatal accident, a criminal case has been openedagainst the owners of the club based on a violation of fire safetyrules, entailing through negligence the death of two and more persons.Representatives of the Kray administration of the MChS [The Ministryfor Affairs of Civil Defense, Extraordinary Situations and Liquidationof Consequences of Elemental Calamities, usually shortened to “Ministryof Emergency Situations” in English–Trans.] reported that themajority of the people had died from poisoning by carbon monoxide gas,not having been able in the stampede that had formed to abandon theclub.

…My schoolboy son and I often go to the Moscow «Solaris» movie theater.There are four auditoriums there. I haven’t seen emergency exits in anyof them. If something were to happen – we’d have to choke in a stampedein a narrow door.

Not far away is found a waterpark. We go there too . And there Inoticed just one entrance into the big hall. If something were tohappen … And how many such theatres-waterparks-clubs-restaurants in allof Moscow and Russia?

If something were to happen…

The fact is that in Russia this «if something were to happen», as arule, happens. And quite often. People die. Commissions convene. Thepeople who run the country commiserate. Sometimes the announce days ofmourning. Punish somebody. Some time passes by – and everything getsrepeated.

The Permian club was decorated with straw – from floor to ceiling.And the furniture too was made of wood and straw. In Rus’ there haslong been a saying: “burns like straw”.

No doubt this club had been inspected by representatives of the fireprevention service of Perm. How could they NOT have noticed the straw?Or do they not know that it burns?
And how did the fire inspectors not notice that the club doesn’t have emergency exits?

No doubt they’ll find the seller of the pyrotechnics and appoint himguilty too. But any sensible person understands: the straw could alsohave been kindled by a short circuit in the electrical wiring, or froma chance match, and from a blown out lamp…

In Rus’ there is also such an expression: to beat the tails. That’swhen measures are taken loudly AFTER a catastrophe-accident-tragicevent.

Maybe, it’s not tails that should be beaten, but the mugs of those who have to answer for fire safety in public places?