At least 64 die in Russia shopping mall fire

At least 64 die in Russia shopping mall fire

At least 64 die in Russia shopping mall fire

At least 64 people were killed by a fire in a shopping mall in the Siberian city of Kemerovo, Russia’s Emergency Situations Ministry said on March 26.

The fire, one of the deadliest in Russia since the end of the Soviet Union, swept through the upper floors of the mall where a cinema complex and children’s play area were located, Reuters reported.

Russian emergency services said the fire, which started in the afternoon of March 25, was extinguished, but rescuers had struggled to reach the upper floors because the roof of the building had collapsed.

More than a dozen people were still unaccounted for. People posted appeals on social media seeking news of their relatives or friends, and the authorities set up a center in a school near the mall to deal with inquiries from people seeking missing family members.

Video footage from inside the mall after the fire broke out showed a group of people in a smoke-filled staircase trying to smash a fire exit door, which was jammed.

Russian state investigators said four people had been detained over the fire, including the owners and leasers of outlets inside the shopping mall.

The Investigative Committee, which handles major crimes, said it was trying to bring in the mall’s principal owner for questioning.

Turkish PM extends condolences

Turkish Prime Minister Binali Yıldırım offered his condolences to his Russian counterpart Dmitri Medvedev on March 26, state-run Anadolu Agency reported.