At least 38 people have been killed after a fire engulfed a drugs-treatment facility in a city outside Kazakhstan's largest city Almaty, emergency officials say.
The fire, whose cause has not been established, started at roughly 5:30am (2330 GMT) on Saturday in Taldykorgan.
Officials said the blaze spread rapidly because firefighters were not informed quickly enough.
The Kazakh emergency situations ministry said in a statement: "As a result of the catastrophic situation ... According to tentative data, 38 people were killed, of which 36 were patients and two were medical personel."
The ministry said rescuers were able to save 40 patients and medical staff, while firefighters took hours to put out the blaze, which spread out over an area of almost 650 square metres.
Karim Masimov, the Kazakh prime minister, has called for the creation of a commission to investigate the cause of the fire, according to a statement on the government's main web portal.
"The country's prime minister has entrusted the commission with carefully investigating the cause of this tragedy, and taking exhaustive measures to render assistance to the victims," it said.
The high-level commission will be led by Serik Akhmedov, the vice-prime minister, the statement said.
Deadly fires are common in the former Soviet Union, with retirement homes and other state-run facilities particularly prone to such accidents.
In 2006, 45 women were killed when a fire erupted at a drugs treatment clinic in Moscow.
The women had been trapped behind locked doors and barred windows during the inferno.