At least 64 persons lost their lives at a shopping mall in Kemerovo, Siberia, after a severe fire started unexpectedly
Unfortunately, many of the victims were children, while 16 people are still nowhere to be found. Officials said that those who are missing have little chance of survival.
The fire started on the fourth floor, where a three-screen cinema complex, a skating rink and an entertainment center for children are located. Vladimir Chernov, a deputy governor of the region mentioned that the fire had started in the children’s entertainment room, as there was a trampoline with foam rubber.
“The preliminary version is that one of the children had a lighter. The fire started from the trampoline pool, filled with foam rubber, which got lit up as gunpowder,” Mr. Chernov told the relatives
Moreover, he added that the fire alarm did not function properly and that the cinema hall’s doors were all shut. With this on the table, the Investigative Committee had opened a criminal investigation in order to find out the cause of the fire.
First reports mentioned that five people had died; however, the numbers quickly rose in late evening, as well as in the following morning. After midnight, the fire was still raging.
Videos of the fire that were posted on social media show terrifying images, such as plumes of smoke coming out from the mall’s roof and windows and people jumping from the windows in an attempt to save their lives.
President Vladimir Putin sent his condolences to the families of the victims.