The fire at the premises of the Odesa Economics, Law and Hotel Management College happened because of ignition of domestic electrical appliances on the third floor of the college, from where the fire spread. People were not able to evacuate because one of the exits was closed.
The leadership and staff of the college did not ensure fire prevention. Moreover, they knowingly violated fire safety regulations, in particular, regarding the maintenance of escape routes and the operation of electrical equipment. This was the conclusion of the Governmental commission on investigation the causes of the fire at Odesa college.
The court will determine the immediate causes and those guilty for tragedy.However, it can be already stated that violation of the fire safety rules has become possible also due to a number of loopholes in the legislation.
Although the Ministry of Education and Science is the founder of the college but it wasn’t endowed with powers to finance the fire-prevention measures. And because of imperfect requirements for state surveillance of the fire safety and a moratorium on inspections, which has been in force for almost 4 years, the State Emergency Service of Ukraine (SESU) has not inspected the college. Moreover, a fine for non-elimination of violations found by inspectors is paltry and amounts to UAH 170.
"Firstly, we must strengthen responsibility for fire safety violations. Secondly, we must carry out inspections of fire safety rules in public spaces with increased danger, in particular, universities, schools, kindergartens, hospitals and etc.," Oleksiy Honcharuk stressed.
The Governmental commission recommended the Ministry of Internal Affairs, SESU to develop a number of bills on strengthening administrative responsibility for fire safety violations, to introduce of voluntary civil liability insurance and to hold inspections. It is also necessary to introduce at the legislative level an "overhaul" of the condition of buildings, in particular, evacuation routes, fire extinguishing facilities, reconstruction or redevelopment works, maintenance of electricity, etc.
Apart from that, there is a need to amend the legislation on introduction of obligatory funding for fire safety measures in budgets of all level.
The Governmental commission also recommended to hold fire safety training, additional safety trainings, and emergency evacuation training in all educational institutions. Authorities should bring objects under its management to the proper fire safety condition and to carry out appropriate public outreach.
At present, the Head of the SESU department in Odesa region Viktor Fedorchak and his deputy Mykhailo Vovk are dismissed. Yesterday Vadym Shuliuk was appointed a new Head of the SESU department in Odesa region.