At least one person has been killed and several are missing after a building at a children’s leisure camp in Odessa, Ukraine caught fire and burnt to ashes, local media report.
Rescue services working the scene found a body around 3am local time, local news website Dumskaya reports. No details of the victim or the missing have been released, but earlier, it was reported that authorities were searching for three girls who went missing during the fire.
According to preliminary information, there were 42 children inside the camp’s block when it caught fire shortly before midnight. Most of the children were safely evacuated. Some of them suffered smoke inhalation, injuries and bruises. Three children were reportedly taken to hospital after they jumped from a window of the burning building.
The representative of Odessa’s Dispatch Service, Yevgeny Kavun, said the fire alert came in at 23:37 local time. Emergency teams were quickly dispatched to the scene where they found a three-story wooden building in flames. The fire quickly spread, engulfing an area of roughly 1,000 square meters.
Putting out the fire proved to be difficult as there’s no emergency water sources on the territory of the children’s sanatorium. There is a hydrant, but the pressure was weak, Kavun said. There is also a fire reservoir, but access to it was blocked. Firefighters found a water supply some 1,200 meters from the campus.
Rescuers are currently hosing down the neighboring cottages. Eyewitnesses say the heat is so intense that the balconies of nearby dormitories have begun to melt while the glass shattered.
The Victoria camp comprises a number of buildings spread across 2.75 hectares on the Black Sea coast. The camp houses orphans and children who have been deprived of parental care, veterans’ children, as well as “talented and gifted children.” Victoria’s website boasts of its facilities, including retrofitted bedrooms as well as “newly built wooden buildings and a summer theater.”