BAKU -- At least 15 people have been killed in a fire that that ripped through a 16-story apartment building in Azerbaijan's capital.
The Health Ministry told RFE/RL that 63 other people were injured in the fire that erupted on May 19 in Baku's Binaqadi district and rushed to hospitals.
Interior Minister Ramil Usubov and Prosecutor-General Zakir Qaralov were at the scene.
Qaralov told reporters that a working team consisting of representatives of the Emergency Ministry, Interior Ministry, and Prosecutor-General's Office will investigate the fire.
He added that the preliminary investigation indicated that fire was caused by the "poor quality" of the building's external cover.
Following the deadliy fire, based on the orders of the President Aliyev mass defacing (removal of the external cover) began in one of the neighborhoods of Baku. Earlier, a Facebook campaign called for the residents of Baku to start removing external covers themselves. "We can start removing the facing ourselves, with our own hands, and those who can afford it can help with hiring cars and professionals who can do the rest of the work at higher floors [...] Life is worth fighting for", read the message on this Facebook group.
Zamin Haci, Azerbaijani journalist posted on his personal Facebook page a similar message but was invited to the Baku City Police Headquarters for questioning. "They told me what I wrote on my page was instigative. They told me that although this does not violate any laws, according to the mentality and moral laws such things should not be written publicly".
Since 2012, a total of 4,873 fires burned down buildings and homes across Azerbaijan. 120 people died, while 225 were wounded.