Children among 64 dead in Russian Federation shopping mall fire

Russia: 5 killed in fire at shopping centre in Siberian city of Kemerovo

At least 64 people, many believed to be children, perished in the Siberian city of Kemerovo as an engulfing fire swept through a crowded shopping centre where fire exits had been blocked.

The number of people injured by fire in the Zimnyaya Vishnya (or Winter Cherry) shopping mall in the Siberian city of Kemerovo exceeded 60 people, the number of hospitalized people increased to 15, Russia's Health Minister Veronika Skvortsova said on Tuesday.

The area of the fire was 1600 square meters.

Just months later, in September 2013, 37 people were killed when a fire swept through a psychiatric hospital in the village of Luka in northwest Russian Federation. The boy's parents and younger sister died in the fire, Skvortsova said.

It is reported the complex also contained a petting zoo. It opened in 2013.

Emergency services officials said that 64 is the final death toll, but local media reported that dozens of people could be missing.

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Negligence, cost-cutting, corruption, and the thwarting of safety rules are blamed for causing or aggravating the human toll from blazes in Russian Federation, where the death rate from fires is far higher than in most Western countries. My daughter was ringing and ringing me.

Russia's top investigative body said Monday afternoon that they are searching for a security officer who appears to have turned off the PA system when he received a call about the blaze. "I could only shout down the phone that she should try and get out of the cinema but I couldn't do anything - there were flames in front of me".

"The Secretary-General is saddened to learn about the deadly fire at a shopping mall in the city of Kemerovo in the Russian Federation", a statement issued by his spokesman said.

Firefighters evacuated at least 120 people from the mall, which was packed with parents and children on the first weekend of a school recess.

The Prosecutor General's Office on Monday ordered all shopping malls in Russian Federation to be checked for fire safety features.

President Vladimir Putin late on Sunday offered his "deep condolences" to the families of the victims. He also alleged that the owner of the building had paid bribes to avoid fire safety inspections.

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