24 Jul 2019 10:00

Emergency Situations Ministry urgently drafting fire safety rules for children's tent camps - newspaper

MOSCOW. July 24 (Interfax) - Russian Emergency Situations Ministry experts are urgently drafting and will later send to the regions a special document containing recommendations on fire safety in children's tent camps, the newspaper Izvestia reported on Wednesday.

"The Emergency Situations Ministry is now working on a document containing fire safety recommendations, which will help increase control over such facilities [children's tent camps]. It will be sent to the country's regions. This will help promptly react to what has happened before the vacation season is over," Vladimir Kudryavtsev, chairman of the All-Russian Volunteer Firefighting Society, told the paper, citing the Russian Emergency Situations Ministry's chief firefighting inspector Igor Kobzev.

Kudryavtsev was quoted by the paper as saying that there are currently no clear uniform safety requirements for children's tent camps.

"The standards for children's summer vacation places are included in the Russian firefighting regulations. They describe in detail how buildings are to be structured and what the personnel has to know and what skills they need to have. But the rules were made for permanent facilities. Construction regulations do not apply to tents, they are only governed by separate orders issued by the Education Ministry and the Labor Ministry," he said.

Commenting on the recent tragedy in the Khabarovsk Territory, Kudryavtsev told the paper that "it's nonsense to accommodate children in such conditions in the 21st century."

"Camping is one thing, but building a tent city in a stationary camp is a different thing. A tent is a temporary structure for individual camping. I have never seen children's tent cities for 250 people in my whole service. Children's camps cannot be organized in temporary structures. And using fan heaters in tents is a crime. They are intended for construction work, not for heating flammable structures," Kudryavtsev said.

Izvestia could not obtain a prompt comment on the document from the Emergency Situations Ministry as an emergency meeting continued in the ministry when the edition was issued.

It was reported earlier that a fire broke out at a children's campsite on the premises of the Kholdomi tourist center in the Solnechny district overnight. Preliminary reports indicate that the fire destroyed 20 tents. There were 189 children aged 7 to 15 years at the camp when the blaze erupted. Four children died in the fire, and twelve people, including seven children, were injured.

The Russian Investigative Committee opened a criminal case on charges of inflicting death by negligence and providing service that fall short of safety regulations.