MOSCOW (Reuters) - Eight people died in a fire at a hydrocracker unit at the Ufaneftekhim refinery in the Urals city of Ufa, RIA news agency quoted an official from Russia's Investigative Committee as saying on Saturday.

The fire at the unit belonging to Russian oil producer Bashneft was brought under control in three hours by 0550 Moscow time (0250 GMT), the company said.

Rescue and recovery teams originally found three dead. However, two people with severe burns died on their way to hospital and another three bodies were found later in the debris at the refinery, RIA cited Svetlana Abramova, the Investigative Committee's official representative in Ufa, as saying.

Bashneft could not be reached for comment.

The committee, which handles serious crimes, said it had launched an inquiry into the possible breaching of safety rules at explosive facilities.

(Reporting by Alla Afanasyeva and Vladimir Soldatkin; Writing by Dmitry Solovyov; Editing by Elaine Hardcastle and David Evans)