Moscow, Jan 4 (AFP) At least 10 people perished after a fire tore through a shoe factory in Russia today, with seven Chinese labourers among the fatalities, officials said.

The blaze at the small plant in the village of Chernorechenskiy, some 50 kilometres south of Siberian city Novosibirsk, broke out at around 9 am (0200 GMT), news agencies reported.

Thick black smoke caused by the burning of synthetic materials could be seen around the factory, where around 30 people worked.

“As a result of the fire, the cause of which is being ascertained, 10 people died. According to preliminary data, there were no Russian citizens among them,” a local government told the official TASS news agency.

The Chinese consulate in Ekaterinburg told the agency seven Chinese citizens had been killed and one injured.

Other reports said Kyrgyz or Tajik nationals were among the dead.

Millions of labourers from the former Soviet republics in Central Asia come to Russia each year to earn much-needed cash given the lack of employment in their impoverished homelands.


This is published unedited from the PTI feed.