Mother dies following 11 years of agony caused by injuries from Russian nightclub fire that left her paralysed and claimed 150 lives – and passes away alone due to Covid-19
- Irina Pekarskaya was trapped in the Perm nightclub when fireworks exploded
- Then aged 33, she suffered toxic brain injury and massive damage to her lungs
- Her family said she had experienced ‘nothing but suffering these 11 years’
A woman who was paralysed and suffered horrific injuries in a Russian nightclub fire has died after 11 years of agony.
Irina Pekarskaya died alone because of coronavirus restrictions, becoming the 157th victim of the Perm disaster in December 2009.
Then aged 33, she was trapped in the crowded Lame Horse club when a fireworks display went disastrously wrong and set the roof alight.
The mother-of-two sustained 60 per cent burned lungs, toxic brain damage and a jaw fracture in the inferno in which dozens of others were crushed and burned alive.
Irina Pekarskaya (pictured) has died 11 years after suffering horrific injuries in a Russian nighclub fire, becoming the 157th victim of the disaster
The mother-of-two (pictured in hospital) sustained 60 per cent burned lungs, toxic brain damage and became paralysed after the inferno
Irina never recovered from the injuries she suffered after becoming trapped in Lame Horse when fireworks exploded inside and set light to the ceiling
Irina was left paralysed and unable to speak, and her arms and legs began to atrophy in the wake of the disaster.
In the aftermath of the horror she was taken to Germany for treatment, but later endured an agonising and debilitating battle with her injuries back in Russia.
‘Seven years after the fire she burst into tears when she saw her two sons for the first time,’ said her mother Galina, 71.
Her family were unable to bid farewell because of the coronavirus pandemic.
‘Irina has had nothing but suffering all these 11 years,’ her mother said, adding: ‘I want to remember her as she was when she was alive.’
Her partner Sergey Kolpakov, then 49, had gone out for a cigarette and survived the catastrophe.
For several years he desperately sought to raise money for her treatment.
After it became clear she would not recover, he began a relationship with another woman with whom he had twins.
The appalling fire was one of Russia’s worst tragedies since the fall of the Soviet Union, with 157 killed and dozens more injured (the club is seen in the aftermath of the blaze)
Then aged 33, Irina was trapped in the crowded Lame Horse club when a fireworks display went disastrously wrong and set the roof alight
Irina Pekerskaya with one of her children. Her mother recalled how she burst into tears when she saw her two sons for the first time after the fire
The appalling fire was one of Russia’s worst tragedies since the fall of the Soviet Union, with 157 killed and dozens more injured.
The fire was caused by sparks from an indoor fireworks display setting fire to wicker coverings on the walls and ceiling during a party.
Witnesses said at the time that a stampede had broken out as more than 200 guests rushed towards a single narrow exit.
Many of the victims choked and others were crushed as they tried to get out in the ‘monstrous’ tragedy in December 2009.
Club co-owner Anatoly Zak, the regional fire safety inspector and the head of the company responsible for the fireworks display were all later convicted.
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