Story By: Gheorghi Caraseni, Sub Editor: Michael Leidig, Agency: Central European News
A victim of the deadly fire in a Russian nightclub which killed 156 people has died after spending almost 11 years in a vegetative state in a hospital bed.
According to her mother, at the end her daughter was alone, abandoned by almost everyone else including her daughter’s husband, who she claimed continued to get financial benefits from well-wishers meant for her treatment.
Tragic mother of two, Irina Pekarskaya, 32, died yesterday after spending over ten years in a hospital bed from carbon monoxide poisoning during the fatal fire in the Lame Horse Nightclub, on the 5th December 2009, in the city of Perm in the western Russian region of the same name.
The deceased woman’s mother, Galina Vasilievna told local media: “My daughter’s agonies are over. She lied there for almost eleven years”.
Vasilievna says she remembers her daughter being in a happy mood that fateful day before she headed out to party.
The fire was reportedly caused by a firework which was set off inside the nightclub and set the whole building on fire.
According to media sources, 200 party-goers and employees were trapped inside the building and a total of 156 people died, with over 100 more injured.
Irina was one of the most heavily affected by the fire, with carbon monoxide poisoning causing irreversible brain damage, meaning she never again recognised her family, understood or spoke to anybody, according to local media.
According to Vasilievna, her daughter’s husband, Sergei Kolpakov, used to visit and take care of Irina in the hospital, but later disappeared, although he continued to receive her benefits, transferred by the state for her treatment.
The patient’s mother has publicly called out Kolpakov for taking the benefits, as well as receiving donations from charities and individuals.
Sergei Kolpakov, however, rejected the claims, saying scammers used to post Irina’s old photos, claiming she needed help, and that he had often not been able to tackle them as he was caring for his wife.
Speaking to perm.kp.ru media site, the man said: “They continued sharing her old pictures in different social networks, saying she needed help, and added transfer details for funds to be transferred, yet those had nothing to do with me. I always brought the necessary goods for Irina to be taken care of with myself.”
Irina’s two sons, Artur, 13 and Alexander, 11, have been in the care of their grandmother since the fire.
Vasilievna said: “I try to educate her children and want them to be better people than their father is.”
According to their grandmother, they are not in touch with their father since they discovered he tried to sell Irina’s apartment while she was in the hospital.
He has not publically commented on this claim.
Vasilievna told local media that the last three months they could not visit Irina due to the COVID-19 quarantine restrictions.
A nun from a nearby chapel, Mother Elena, says she often came to Irina and read prayers. According to the religious woman, Irina used to cry when someone in the hospital died.