A fire in a shopping mall today in the Siberian city of Kemerovo claimed the lives of possibly dozens of children, reported Interfax. Officials are saying approximately 40 people died but rumors across Russia suggest close to 200.
Kemerovo is a coal-producing region some 3,600 kilometers east of Moscow, reports The Moscow Times.
According to the latest information from the Investigative Committee (at 17:50 Moscow time), five people, among them three children, at least 32 others were injured, 30 of them were hospitalized. 17 people are reported missing, reported Valraov.ru. The fire is said to have raged for over 14 hours. The fire alarm did not work, according to reports.
There is a fire in a mall in Kemerovo, Siberia and people jumping from the windows 🙁 pic.twitter.com/a4DMqdPQNS
— English Russia (@EnglishRussia1) March 25, 2018
In the afternoon session in the Kemerovo cinema was a group of 12-year-old schoolchildren from the village of Treschevsky, Kemerovo region. In honor of the beginning of school holidays they were taken on an excursion to the children’s center and a cinema in the shopping center “Winter Cherry”. The children were accompanied by a class teacher and two parents. They managed to get out of the burning building, because they did not watch the children’s film and, leaving the children, went for a walk around the shopping center.
– At 16:11, right after the start of the fire, my niece Vika called from the cinemas. She said that everything burns, the doors are locked in the cinema. I can not leave, I can not breathe. I told her: “Vika, take everything off, put your nose through your clothes.” She says: “Tell my mother that I loved her. Tell everyone that I loved them” and then turned off.