A CLOUD of smoke billows from the Nevskaya Manufaktura factory on Monday.—Reuters
A CLOUD of smoke billows from the Nevskaya Manufaktura factory on Monday.—Reuters

SAINT PETERSBURG: A spectacular fire gutted a historic factory in Russia’s second city Saint Petersburg on Monday, sending clouds of black smoke over the former imperial capital.

The emergencies ministry said 40 people had been evacuated, but that one firefighter had died and two more were hospitalised trying to put out the massive blaze visible across the city.

The ministry said that the fire had broken out over several floors of the red-brick Nevskaya Manufaktura building on the Oktyabrskaya Embankment of the Neva River.

The enormous factory was engulfed in flames which spread to nearby trees, AFP journalists at the scene said, adding that the building was surrounded by fire trucks and several ambulances.

The inferno spread to an area of about 10,000 square metres and a large part of the roof had collapsed.

Nearly 350 firefighters were still fighting the flames at 4.30pm, three hours after the blaze sparked.

The cause of the fire was not immediately known.

Listed by the Saint Petersburg city government as a cultural heritage site, the building was home to one of Russia’s largest textile companies in the second half of the 19th century, the Fontanka local news website reported.

It said the company, the Thornton Woollen Mill Company, was founded by British citizen James George Thornton and his sons, and that its products won the highest award at the World Exhibition in Paris in 1900.

The factory was nationalised and run as a state entity during the Soviet period, then privatised in 1992.

Published in Dawn, April 13th, 2021

Opinion

Blurred boundaries
Updated 10 May 2021

Blurred boundaries

Karachi’s administration and provincial agencies have taken measures that hit the urban poor on a continuous basis.
Sequencing IMF reforms
10 May 2021

Sequencing IMF reforms

It is clear that the revival of and rise in economic growth is becoming a concept alien to the IMF.
‘Darlings of the court’
09 May 2021

‘Darlings of the court’

The public deserves to see and learn from the process by which Justice Isa won after having nearly lost.

Editorial

10 May 2021

Safe havens

THE pull-out of foreign forces from Afghanistan has security ramifications for that country as well as neighbouring...
10 May 2021

Important bills

AT last, there is some movement on critical legislation that appeared to have been put on the back-burner. The...
Al Aqsa clashes
Updated 10 May 2021

Al Aqsa clashes

US policy remains wedded to blind support for the Jewish state.
Updated 09 May 2021

Sharif mission aborted

THE government is in no mood to let PML-N president Shehbaz Sharif leave the country. The opposition leader was...
09 May 2021

Amazon opportunity

THE decision by global e-commerce giant Amazon to add Pakistan to its sellers’ list is expected to unleash ...
09 May 2021

PCB’s parental policy

THE Pakistan Cricket Board’s announcement of its parental support policy earlier this week is praiseworthy, for...