Investigation Completed in Russian Nightclub Disaster

Eight defendants face charges for a fire started by illegal pyrotechnics inside the Lame Horse nightclub on Dec. 5, 2009. With 156 people dead, it is the worst fire since the fall of the Soviet Union.

Criminal charges are going forward against eight people connected to the Lame Horse nightclub fire in Perm, Russia, on Dec. 5, 2009, with investigators having completed their investigation of the tragedy, the ITAR-TASS news agency reported June 4. The fire began when pyrotechnic fountains ignited decorations on the ceiling of the club during its eighth anniversary party; investigators said the club was not permitted to use those pyrotechnics indoors.

Eight defendants face charges, and the investigative file fills 120 volumes, the news agency reported. With 156 people dead and 64 injured, it is the worst fire in the country since the fall of the Soviet Union in 1991.

The defendants include an alleged co-owner of the nightclub, its executive director, an employee identified as the club's caretaker art director, the former chief fire inspector in the Perm Territory, and the director of the company that supplied the pyrotechnics.

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