By Amina Nazarli
All the residents of the burning building have been evacuated. "Currently no one is left in the building," said Etibar Mirzoyev, the deputy minister of the emergency situations.
He explained that some 40 fire brigades and two helicopters are currently at the scene, securing the area.
The deputy minister added that experts will assess the damage, and work together to determine the cause of the fire. To investigate the criminal case, a special team of experienced staff has been created.
“Some members of the Emergency Situations Ministry have been also injured during the rescue operation. A total of 25 people were evacuated. Those who stayed in their flats did not suffer any injuries from the fire. However, those who in a panic tried to leave the building were poisoned by smoke,” Mirzoyev said.
The death toll has now been confirmed at 16. According to sources 54 people were injured. Eleven of dead have been identified so far - four of which are children.
President Ilham Aliyev instructed the state authorities to investigate the cause of the fire, and punish those who are responsible for such negligence, confirmed Ali Hasanov, Azerbaijan President`s aide for public and political affairs.
The commission will also investigate the issuance of certificates for plastic cladding used for building as well as safety standards in their use. "Individuals and institutions who have committed violations, will be severely punished," Hasanov warned.
A strong fire occurred at a sixteen-storey building in Baku’s Binagadi district on May 19.
Azerbaijani Emergency Situations Ministry received a call about a fire in a multistory building at Azadliq Avenue, 189 early in the morning.
The building’s residents were immediately evacuated. The fire was already extinguished. Some 30 ambulances are working at the scene.
Ramil Usubov, the interior minister, Zakir Garalov, the prosecutor general, and Rustam Usubov, the first deputy prosecutor general are also currently on the scene to lend assistance and coordinate the rescue operation.
According to preliminary information about 61 people were injured during the fire. Some 13 people died, Safaya Ahmadova, the representative of the Health Ministry told Trend. Two of the dead are small children who were suffocated by smoke, Liya Bayramova, the spokesman of the Health Ministry told local media.
One of the residents jumped out of the 8th floor and crashed on the pavement, reported Day.Az. The family of the man remained trapped in their burning home.
According to witnesses, the plastic cladding of the building is burning. The building residents said that the fire started from the first floor and in a few seconds covered the entire high-rise. The building has 54 apartments.
“The cause of the fire was the poor quality of cladding material, according to preliminary information. The incident will be investigated,” Garalov said.
This is the second case this month where fire spread rapidly due to easily flammable materials.
Due to the fire, the traffic in the disaster area along the Azadlig Avenue is currently limited, and drivers were advised to drive along Shovkat Mammadova Street.