Russia holds funerals for mall fire victims
BRASILIA – Reuters
Russia on March 28 began a national day of mourning and held the first funerals for the victims of a fire that ravaged a busy shopping center in Siberia and killed 64 people, most of them children.
Flags were lowered and entertainment events cancelled for the day of mourning, three days after the devastating blaze on March 25 in the city of Kemerovo.
It comes amid widespread public anger at the blatant safety violations at the mall where children were trapped in a locked cinema and the fire alarm system was broken.
The youngest victim according to an official list was a two-year-old boy, while at least 19 of the 64 people killed were under 10.
In Kemerovo region, relatives on March 28 were holding the first funerals for victims as 27 bodies have been identified, regional emergencies minister Alexander Mamontov said.
Among those laid to rest were 57-year-old Nadezhda Agarkova who died together with her two grandchildren Konstantin, 8, and Maria, 10, in the mall’s cinema, RIA Novosti state news agency reported.
On March 27 Kemerovo residents came out on the main square in a rare protest, some holding placards and shouting slogans against regional officials.