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Over 30 Dead in Odessa Violence
More than 30 people died today [April 2] in clashes between separatists and supporters of a united Ukraine, killing more than 30 people, Espreso TV has been told by the regional interior ministry in Odessa.
"Forty injured people have gone to the city hospital, and ten police officers have been wounded. During the confrontation, the trade union building was set on fire. That fire has now been extinguished. As a result of it, 38 people died. Eight jumped out of windows during the fire and 30 were suffocated by carbon monoxide. An investigative team is on the scene," the department said in a statement.
The interior ministry later clarified that 31 people had been killed, not 38, and that 50 had been injured.
Eyewitnesses posted reports on twitter that the trade union building in Odessa, which had been seized by separatists, was set on fire. They said the blaze reached the second floor, and separatists jumped out of windows to escape.
Pro-Ukraine supporters provided first aid and tried to rescue others from the burning building. "Separatists are now jumping down into the arms of our guys, who are trying to catch them and prevent injury,” one female activist wrote.
Media reports indicate that one man fell from the fourth floor, and showed no signs of life.
Prior to these events, Maidan supporters from Odessa captured the separatist encampment at Kulikovo Field, whose residents then seized the trade union building. The assault on the separatist’s camp was provoked by them – they had attacked a column of Ukrainian unity demonstrators by a United Ukraine and killed four of them.
A government team led by Deputy Prime Minister Vitaly Yarema is flying to Odessa to address the situation.
The separatists are reportedly blockaded inside a shopping mall.
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