Russian fire toll rises to 40: ministry

2nd August 2010, Comments 0 comments

The wildfires raging across western Russia have claimed 40 lives, the health ministry said Monday, raising the death toll from 34.

The worst hit region has been Nizhny Novgorod with 19 deaths, but the fires have also claimed victims in the Voronezh, Lipetsk, Moscow and Ryazan regions, the Russian Health and Social Development ministry added.

President Dmitry Medvedev on Monday declared a state of emergency in seven Russian regions as a blistering heat wave has created perfect conditions for the spread of fires.

© 2010 AFP

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