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Fire hits Russian World Cup venue under construction

MOSCOW (Reuters) - A fire broke out at the World Cup stadium being built in the Russian city of Samara on Thursday, a regional government official said, the second such incident in seven weeks to hit venues under construction for the tournament.

The stadium in Samara, a city of 1.1 million located some 850 kilometres southeast of Moscow, will host six matches in next year's World Cup finals, including a quarter-final.

A spokeswoman for the regional government told Reuters that construction debris at the site had caught fire on Thursday morning but said the exact cause of the blaze had yet to be determined.

"There was construction debris, wooden planks, old plastic pipes that needed to be thrown out, but they weren't," spokeswoman Anna Sitnik said. "There was more smoke than fire."

The stadium did not sustain any damage in the blaze and no workers were injured, she said.

The local World Cup organising committee did not immediately respond to a request to comment.

A similar fire broke out in June at a World Cup venue being built in the industrial city of Volgograd, which officials attributed to neglected safety regulations.

Russia will host the World Cup finals from June 14 to July 15 next year in 12 venues spread across 11 cities, including Moscow, St. Petersburg and Sochi.

(Reporting by Gabrielle Tétrault-Farber, editing by Pritha Sarkar)

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