Russia fire: Dozens die in Kemerovo shopping mall blaze

0
28

Media playback is unsupported on your device

Media captionSmoke billows from Russian shopping centre

At least 37 people are confirmed to have died in a fire that tore through a shopping centre in the Siberian city of Kemerovo.

Dozens more people, children believed to be among them, are missing, according to Russian media.

The blaze started on an upper floor of the Winter Cherry complex and many of the victims were in a cinema.

Video posted on social media showed people jumping from windows to escape the flames on Sunday.

Smoke billowed from windows as fire crews worked to evacuate the property.

Kemerovo, a key coal-producing area, lies about 3,600km (2,200 miles) east of Moscow.

The cause of the blaze is not yet known but authorities have launched an investigation.

Austrian Chancellor Sebastian Kurz has offered his condolences to the families and friends of the victims.

Where did the fire start?

The complex, which was opened in 2013, includes movie theatres, restaurants, a sauna, a bowling alley and a children’s zoo.

The fire is believed to have started around 17:00 (10:00 GMT) in a part of the building that contains the entertainment complex, local media report.

“According to preliminary information, the roof collapsed in two cinemas,” Russia’s Investigative Committee said in a statement.

Image copyright
AFP

Image caption

Smoke billowed from the building

Yevgeny Dedyukhin, deputy head of the Kemerovo region emergency department, said the area of the fire was about 1,500 sq m.

“We’ve got 288 emergency personnel working on site, 62 fire units and an airborne group,” he added.

“They are all taking part in the search and rescue operation. We are taking all necessary measures to extinguish the fire. The shopping centre is a very complex construction. There are a lot of combustible materials.”

What do we know of the victims?

Deputy governor of the Kemerovo region, Vladimir Chernov, said 13 bodies had been found in one of the movie halls.

Emergency services managed to evacuate about 100 people from the building and rescued another 20, Itar-Tass news agency reports.

Image copyright
Reuters

Image caption

A ceiling inside the shopping centre was said to have collapsed

Source link