Officials said that some of the missing may have escaped the hospital in the Novgorod region and may have even survived.
According to some reports, the blaze may have been created by one of the patients, who would have set the bed on fire, while smoking a cigarette. At the time of the blaze, there were about 60 male patients inside.
The ward that serves severaly ill patients, where the fire broke out, experienced the blaze the second one this year and has drawn strong criticisism from the state over the treatment of the mentally ill and other vulnerable citizens.
Over 20 patients were evacuated, when the fire broke out.
The state, however is not new to such incidents as there have been many fires at state institutions such as hospitals, schools, drug treatment centres and more. Such fires have raised questions about safety measures and other exit routes.