Russian Nightclub Owner, Manager Arrested

Authorities have arrested the owner and manager of Perm's Lame Horse, the nightclub where 103 people perished in last night's fire started by pyrotechnical effects onstage. Investigators said there was no suspicion of a terrorist attack, and that the owner and manager disregarded persistent demands from authorities to comply with safety standards. "They have neither brains, nor conscience," said Russian President Dmitry Medvedev, who has advocated harsh punishment for those responsible. Reports by survivors and a video recorded in the nightclub and obtained by the Russian press paint a picture of a horrific stampede inside the building: "There was only one exit, and people started breaking down the doors to get out," said one woman who had been inside. Dozens of clubgoers are in critical condition. Russia's 18,000 fire deaths a year places the country much higher than other Western countries in terms of fire deaths a year per capita.