On commission of the President of Ukraine Volodymyr Zelenskyy, at an extraordinary meeting on January 21, the Government has set up a commission to investigate the circumstances and causes of the tragic event in Kharkiv. A fire broke out in the house where the elderly were staying, as a result of which, according to rescuers, 15 people died.
The relevant commission will be headed by Minister for Communities and Territories Development Oleksii Chernyshov.
"Currently, the fire has been extinguished. I express my condolences to the families and friends of the dead and all the victims," said Prime Minister Denys Shmyhal.
The Prime Minister appealed to the ministers with a demand to take personal control of this case.
"I ask you to act as responsibly as possible and coordinate all the authorities to investigate the causes of the fire, and on the results - please report in detail," stressed Denys Shmyhal.
He noted that criminal proceedings have already been opened for violating the requirements of fire safety, which resulted in the death of people: "I hope that those responsible for this tragedy will be identified as soon as possible and punished in accordance with the law."
In order to prevent similar tragedies in the future, the Head of Government gave a number of commissions. In particular, the SES to conduct extraordinary inspections of compliance with fire safety requirements in high-risk facilities - hotels, boarding houses, hostels. The Prime Minister instructed the local executive authorities and the Ministry of Social Policy to work to establish the legality of the creation of private homes for the elderly and to identify other similar facilities.
"I urge all local authorities to join the work in a consolidated way so that there are no such cases in the future. It is impossible to allow such institutions to work neglecting the safety of people," the Head of Government said.
"As of now, all the necessary measures have been taken," said Interior Minister Arsen Avakov, commenting on the activities of law enforcement and rescue workers. At the same time, he said that the preliminary cause of the fire was the neglect of fire safety rules.
According to the National Police, there are no documents for this house as an institution for the elderly. The owner is currently being identified and information is being checked on the existence of several more private houses that could have been converted into homes for the elderly. Criminal proceedings have been instituted on the fact of the tragedy.
According to the Minister of Social Policy Maryna Lazebna, the Department of Social Protection in Kharkiv region currently accommodates people in need of help in boarding houses.
"But I want to note the main thing that this institution did not function in the legal field, it is not in the register of social service providers. There is no information about such an institution in the Department of Social Protection," said Maryna Lazebna. "Requirements for the functioning of such institutions, where elderly people, people with disabilities live, are regulated by law and such institutions have clear criteria for their activities. That is why we are now organizing work to identify such institutions that are absent in the register of social service providers."
According to the decision of the Government, the Commission must report on the results of its work no later than within one month.