(Adds details, background)
MOSCOW, Sept 13 (Reuters) - Thirty-seven people were missing after a fire raged through a psychiatric hospital in northwestern Russia early on Friday, an Emergency Situations Ministry official said.
The official, Oleg Voronov, said on Ekho Moskvy radio that some of the missing may have escaped the hospital in the Novgorod region and survived but Itar-Tass news agency cited a regional official as saying at least 14 people were killed.
Investigators say the pre-dawn blaze may have been caused by a patient setting a bed on fire, the Interfax news agency reported.
The fire destroyed a building housing male patients at the hospital in the village of Luka, state-run RIA reported. Voronov said there were about 60 people in the building, most of them patients, when it broke out.
It was the second deadly fire at a Russian psychiatric hospital this year. In April, a fire at a facility outside Moscow killed 38 people and prompted criticism of the state over care of mentally ill patients.
There have been many fires with high death tolls at state institutions such as hospitals, schools, drug treatment centres and homes for the disabled in the past decade, raising questions about safety measures, conditions and escape routes. (Writing by Steve Gutterman; Editing by Bill Trott)