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Blaze hits showcase skyscraper in Moscow

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(Globalpost/GlobalPost)

* Second fire since last April in landmark district

* Tower is part of Kremlin-backed finance centre project

MOSCOW, Jan 25 (Reuters) - A fire broke out at a partly-built Moscow skyscraper on Friday, Russian officials said, the second in the Kremlin-backed Moskva City business centre development in less than a year.

The blaze erupted before noon on the 24th floor of the Oko ('Eye') tower, but was put out quickly put out, according to a statement on the Emergency Ministry's website.

The fire was sparked by a fan heater used to warm liquid concrete, according to Lifenews.ru, a tabloid website with close connections to the law enforcement agencies. One construction worker was taken to hospital with burns, it said.

Last April, fire swept through the top floor of the incomplete Vostok ('East') tower of Moskva City's Federation complex, which will be the tallest building in Europe when finished, at 360 metres (1,181 feet).

Moskva City, a district of glittering concrete and glass towers west of the Moscow's historic centre, is part of a Kremlin-backed project to make the capital a global financial centre by 2020 - a plan that critics say is hampered by a lack of modern infrastructure.

The Kremlin is desperate to raise the profile of Russia, the world's largest energy exporter, in the eyes of foreign investors who complain about excessive state regulation of the economy and rampant corruption. (Reporting By Alexei Anishchuk; Editing by Kevin Liffey)

http://www.globalpost.com/dispatch/news/thomson-reuters/130125/blaze-hits-showcase-skyscraper-moscow