RUSSIA AMLL FIRE : DEATH TOLL REACHES 64

Moscow : The toll in Winter Cherry mall fire in Russia rose to 64 by Monday afternoon, said ANI. The fire, that erupted in the upper floors of the mall and housed a cineplex and children’s play area on Sunday afternoon, had been put out but rescue operations couldn’t be conducted in full swing as the roof of the mall had caved in, leaving the rescuers struggling to reach the upper floors. The Investigative Committee, the State body that handles major crimes in the nation, said that 44 people had undergone treatment of which ten were still in the hospital. Over a dozen people were still reported missing, said the committee.

On Sunday, a fire had broken out at Winter Cherry mall at Kemerovo, an industrial city in Siberia. Three children and a woman were reported dead soon after. Interfax news agency had reported that the fire had spread across 10,760 feet. Russia’s Channel One reported that some people jumped out of windows in an attempt to save their lives. Some video footage from inside the mall soon after the fire broke out showed people struggling to open the emergency exit door that was jammed.

Russian investigators said four people had been detained over the fire; including owners and lessees of outlets in the mall. They were trying to bring in the mall owner for questioning, they said. Meanwhile, people continued to post appeals on social media for news on their loved ones even as authorities set up a centre close by to handle inquiries about missing people.

Russia President Vladimir Putin expressed condolences to the “families and loves ones of those who died,” said a statement from Kremlin.