Five vegetable market and farm workers were killed Monday when a fire swept through their hostel in the southeastern Ukrainian city of Zaporizhia, the regional emergency service said. Four other residents, including an eight-year-old child, were rescued and taken to hospital.
“This building was once a bakery complex. It was decommissioned in 2011 and not used again until 2016,” when the owner turned it into an unregistered hostel for local workers, said Yuliya Barysheva, a spokeswoman for the regional emergencies service.
Barysheva told AFP that the building was located near a vegetable market. All the hostel residents worked either in the market or on nearby farms. Barysheva said it remained unclear how many people were inside the building at the time of the fire or what sparked the deadly accident, adding that an investigation was underway.
Zaporizhia is located some 150 kilometres (95 miles) west of an area that has seen Russian-backed forces wage war against government forces for over three years. The conflict has claimed more than 10,000 lives.