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4 Oct, 2010 16:45

Hearings begin into fatal nightclub blaze in Russia’s Urals

A court has begun hearings into last year's fatal fire at the Lame Horse nightclub in Perm in central Russia. The fire was triggered when fireworks that were set off indoors hit the ceiling.

Flames and smoke spread rapidly, killing 156 people in the stampede to evacuate the packed nightclub.

The tragedy led to nationwide safety checks at nightclubs, while some places banned the use of indoor pyrotechnics.

The court is now deciding whether the club's owner and staff should be held responsible for the disaster.

If found guilty, they could face up to 10 years in prison.