At least seven dead as mystery fire breaks out in barracks housing workers building Putin’s highway in occupied Crimea

At least seven people have died after a fire swept through a makeshift barracks housing construction workers in occupied Crimea.

The horror fire broke out shortly after 2am on the outskirts of the city of Sevastopol – the headquarters of Vladimir Putin’s Black Sea Fleet.


At least seven dead in horror fire at makeshift barracks in CrimeaCredit: East2West
The fire broke out at 2 in the morning on the outskirts of the city of Sevastopol


The fire broke out at 2 in the morning on the outskirts of the city of SevastopolCredit: East2West
At the time of the fire, there were 185 people inside the building


At the time of the fire, there were 185 people inside the buildingCredit: East2West

Seven workers died and two others were rushed to hospital, while five others are missing.

It comes amid a wave of suspected “sabotage” explosions – including a huge blast on Crimea’s Kerch Bridge that links mainland Vlad with the occupied peninsula.

At the time of the fire on Thursday morning, 185 people were inside the dormitory, the RIA news agency reported.

Footage showed the raging inferno tearing through the two-story barracks housing construction workers building a bridge commissioned by Putin.

Mikhail Razvozayev, the Russian-appointed governor, said the Tabrid highway would connect the Crimean cities of Sevastopol and Simferopol.

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Russia’s Investigative Committee – which investigates major crimes – said it had launched an investigation into the cause of the fire.

Law enforcement claimed the cause was an electrical short circuit.

Russia annexed Crimea from Ukraine in 2014 – and Kyiv has said it plans to take it back by force.

A series of explosions and fires have broken out at key facilities in Russia linked to Ukraine in recent months.

Recent inferno has hit strategic oil and gas facilities, including storage depots, military installations and commercial centers in several Russian regions, including Moscow.

Last month, footage showed the moment a gas pipeline explosion in the Russian-held Luhansk region ignited a fire at an oil base.

The explosion at the Ukrainian pipeline, currently operated by the Russians, on January 7 resulted in gas being cut off to more than 13,000 homes.

Footage showed the inferno sweeping through the facility, sending black smoke billowing into the sky.

It is not clear who was behind the explosion – but the Russian Ministry of State Security has opened a criminal case for “sabotage due to an explosion of a natural gas pipeline”.

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In January, a fire also broke out at the Russian Ministry of Foreign Affairs in Moscow.

The fire led to the evacuation of 25 people in a part of the building complex that houses the press office of veteran foreign minister Sergei Lavrov.

Reports said that this fire started in a “technical room” two floors below ground.

There were early allegations of short-circuiting, routine speculation before investigations were carried out.

In December, a fire broke out on Putin’s only aircraft carrier, the Admiral Kuznetsov, in the Arctic port of Murmansk while the vessel was undergoing repairs from a previous major fire.

And in the same month, a Siberian oil pipeline exploded in an apocalyptic fireball amid suspicions that key Russian facilities are being targeted in sabotage attacks.

The massive explosion hit the major Russian pipeline about 560 miles from the Ukrainian border in Chuvashia, killing three gas workers.

The cause of the inferno was unclear, but shocking footage showed flames shooting into the sky from the giant blaze.

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In October, Putin was blamed for an explosion that damaged the Nord Stream pipeline, cutting gas supplies in retaliation for sanctions imposed over his invasion of Ukraine.