Russian shopping mall fire

A total of 64 people, some of them children, perished in a fire that ravaged a busy shopping mall in an industrial city in Siberia as rescue teams struggled through piles of charred rubble to recover bodies.

Russian television showed images of thick, black smoke pouring out of the Winter Cherry shopping center in the city of Kemerovo. The mall also houses a sauna, bowling alley, and multiplex cinema and was packed with people on Sunday afternoon.

Russia’s Investigative Committee said the roof collapsed in two theaters in the cinema during the blaze, which erupted at around 4 p.m. (0900 GMT). Witnesses told Russian television that some did not hear alarms or did not take them seriously and that the fire took hold very quickly, leaving many children separated from their parents.

“The alarm system didn’t work; people ran out screaming and in panic,” said a teenager, Milena, who had visited the mall with her parents. Emergency services minister Vladimir Puchkov said on Russian television: “We have recorded that unfortunately, as a result of the accident, 64 people died,” up from a previous estimate of 56. (AFP)

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<p>In this Russian Emergency Situations Ministry photo, on March 25, 2018, smoke rises above a multistory shopping center in the Siberian city of Kemerovo, about 3,000 kilometers (1,900 miles) east of Moscow. (Photo: Russian Ministry for Emergency Situations photo via AP) </p>
Russian shopping mall fire

In this Russian Emergency Situations Ministry photo, on March 25, 2018, smoke rises above a multistory shopping center in the Siberian city of Kemerovo, about 3,000 kilometers (1,900 miles) east of Moscow. (Photo: Russian Ministry for Emergency Situations photo via AP)

<p>People lay flowers and candles for the victims of a fire in a multistory shopping center in the Siberian city of Kemerovo, about 3,000 kilometers (1,900 miles) east of Moscow, March 26, 2018. (Photo: Sergei Gavrilenko/AP) </p>
Russian shopping mall fire

People lay flowers and candles for the victims of a fire in a multistory shopping center in the Siberian city of Kemerovo, about 3,000 kilometers (1,900 miles) east of Moscow, March 26, 2018. (Photo: Sergei Gavrilenko/AP)

<p>Members of the Emergency Situations Ministry work to extinguish a fire in a shopping mall in the Siberian city of Kemerovo, March 25, 2018. (Photo: Maksim Lisov/Reuters) </p>
Russian shopping mall fire

Members of the Emergency Situations Ministry work to extinguish a fire in a shopping mall in the Siberian city of Kemerovo, March 25, 2018. (Photo: Maksim Lisov/Reuters)

<p>A group of firefighters walk near the scene of the multistory shopping center after a fire in the Siberian city of Kemerovo, about 3,000 kilometers (1,900 miles) east of Moscow, March 26, 2018. Russian officials say a fire at the shopping mall killed over 50 people. The Ekho Mosvky radio station quoted witnesses who said that the fire alarm did not go off and that the staff in the mall in Kemerovo did not organize the evacuation. (AP Photo) </p>
Firefighters near the scene of the shopping center fire.

A group of firefighters walk near the scene of the multistory shopping center after a fire in the Siberian city of Kemerovo, about 3,000 kilometers (1,900 miles) east of Moscow, March 26, 2018. Russian officials say a fire at the shopping mall killed over 50 people. The Ekho Mosvky radio station quoted witnesses who said that the fire alarm did not go off and that the staff in the mall in Kemerovo did not organize the evacuation. (AP Photo)

<p>People react after laying flowers for the victims of a fire in a multistory shopping center in the Siberian city of Kemerovo, about 3,000 kilometers (1,900 miles) east of Moscow, March 26, 2018. Russian officials say a fire at the shopping mall killed over 50 people. (AP Photo/Sergei Gavrilenko) </p>
People lay flowers for the victims

People react after laying flowers for the victims of a fire in a multistory shopping center in the Siberian city of Kemerovo, about 3,000 kilometers (1,900 miles) east of Moscow, March 26, 2018. Russian officials say a fire at the shopping mall killed over 50 people. (AP Photo/Sergei Gavrilenko)

<p>Firefighters work at the scene of the multistory shopping center after a fire, in the Siberian city of Kemerovo, about 3,000 kilometers (1,900 miles) east of Moscow, March 26, 2018. (Photo: AP) </p>
Russian shopping mall fire

Firefighters work at the scene of the multistory shopping center after a fire, in the Siberian city of Kemerovo, about 3,000 kilometers (1,900 miles) east of Moscow, March 26, 2018. (Photo: AP)

<p>A man reacts at the scene of a fire in a shopping mall in the Siberian city of Kemerovo, March 25, 2018. (Photo: Marina Lisova/Reuters) </p>
Russian shopping mall fire

A man reacts at the scene of a fire in a shopping mall in the Siberian city of Kemerovo, March 25, 2018. (Photo: Marina Lisova/Reuters)

<p>People lay flowers for the victims of a fire in a multistory shopping center in the Siberian city of Kemerovo, about 3,000 kilometers (1,900 miles) east of Moscow, March 26, 2018. (Photo: AP) </p>
Russian shopping mall fire

People lay flowers for the victims of a fire in a multistory shopping center in the Siberian city of Kemerovo, about 3,000 kilometers (1,900 miles) east of Moscow, March 26, 2018. (Photo: AP)

<p>Smoke rises above a multistory shopping center in the Siberian city of Kemerovo, about 3,000 kilometers (1,900 miles) east of Moscow, on March 25, 2018. (Photo: Sergei Gavrilenko/AP) </p>
Russian shopping mall fire

Smoke rises above a multistory shopping center in the Siberian city of Kemerovo, about 3,000 kilometers (1,900 miles) east of Moscow, on March 25, 2018. (Photo: Sergei Gavrilenko/AP)

<p>In this Russian Emergency Situations Ministry photo on March 25, 2018, smoke rises above a multistory shopping center in the Siberian city of Kemerovo, about 3,000 kilometers (1,900 miles) east of Moscow. (Photo: Russian Ministry for Emergency Situations photo via AP) </p>
Russian shopping mall fire

In this Russian Emergency Situations Ministry photo on March 25, 2018, smoke rises above a multistory shopping center in the Siberian city of Kemerovo, about 3,000 kilometers (1,900 miles) east of Moscow. (Photo: Russian Ministry for Emergency Situations photo via AP)

<p>Members of the Emergency Situations Ministry work to extinguish a fire in a shopping mall in the Siberian city of Kemerovo on March 26, 2018. (Photo: Marina Lisova/Reuters) </p>
Russian shopping mall fire

Members of the Emergency Situations Ministry work to extinguish a fire in a shopping mall in the Siberian city of Kemerovo on March 26, 2018. (Photo: Marina Lisova/Reuters)

<p>In this Russian Emergency Situations Ministry photo, on March 26, 2018, emergency services clear the wreckage at the scene of the multistory shopping center after a fire in the Siberian city of Kemerovo, about 3,000 kilometers (1,900 miles) east of Moscow. (Photo: Russian Ministry for Emergency Situations photo via AP) </p>
Russian shopping mall fire

In this Russian Emergency Situations Ministry photo, on March 26, 2018, emergency services clear the wreckage at the scene of the multistory shopping center after a fire in the Siberian city of Kemerovo, about 3,000 kilometers (1,900 miles) east of Moscow. (Photo: Russian Ministry for Emergency Situations photo via AP)

<p>A woman lays flowers for the victims of a fire in a multistory shopping center in the Siberian city of Kemerovo, about 3,000 kilometers (1,900 miles) east of Moscow, March 26, 2018. (AP Photo/Sergei Gavrilenko) </p>
A woman with her child lays flowers for the victims

A woman lays flowers for the victims of a fire in a multistory shopping center in the Siberian city of Kemerovo, about 3,000 kilometers (1,900 miles) east of Moscow, March 26, 2018. (AP Photo/Sergei Gavrilenko)

<p>Firefighters work near the scene of the multistory shopping center after a fire, in the Siberian city of Kemerovo, about 3,000 kilometers (1,900 miles) east of Moscow, March 26, 2018. (Photo: AP) </p>
Russian shopping mall fire

Firefighters work near the scene of the multistory shopping center after a fire, in the Siberian city of Kemerovo, about 3,000 kilometers (1,900 miles) east of Moscow, March 26, 2018. (Photo: AP)

<p>An aerial view shows the scene of a fire in a shopping mall in the Siberian city of Kemerovo, Russia, on March 26, 2018. (Photo: Maksim Lisov/Reuters) </p>
Russian shopping mall fire

An aerial view shows the scene of a fire in a shopping mall in the Siberian city of Kemerovo, Russia, on March 26, 2018. (Photo: Maksim Lisov/Reuters)

<p>A rescuer reacts as he works at the scene of a fire in a shopping mall in the Siberian city of Kemerovo, Russia, on March 25, 2018. (Photo: Maksim Lisov/Reuters) </p>
Russian shopping mall fire

A rescuer reacts as he works at the scene of a fire in a shopping mall in the Siberian city of Kemerovo, Russia, on March 25, 2018. (Photo: Maksim Lisov/Reuters)

<p>A member of the Emergency Situations Ministry works at the scene of a fire in a shopping mall in the Siberian city of Kemerovo, Russia, March 25, 2018. (Photo: Maksim Lisov/Reuters) </p>
Russian shopping mall fire

A member of the Emergency Situations Ministry works at the scene of a fire in a shopping mall in the Siberian city of Kemerovo, Russia, March 25, 2018. (Photo: Maksim Lisov/Reuters)

<p>Members of the Emergency Situations Ministry work to extinguish a fire in a shopping mall in the Siberian city of Kemerovo, Russia, March 25, 2018.(Photo: Maksim Lisov/Reuters) </p>
Russian shopping mall fire

Members of the Emergency Situations Ministry work to extinguish a fire in a shopping mall in the Siberian city of Kemerovo, Russia, March 25, 2018.(Photo: Maksim Lisov/Reuters)

<p>A member of the Emergency Situations Ministry operates a drone at the scene of a fire in a shopping mall in the Siberian city of Kemerovo, Russia, on March 25, 2018. (Photo: Maksim Lisov/Reuters) </p>
Russian shopping mall fire

A member of the Emergency Situations Ministry operates a drone at the scene of a fire in a shopping mall in the Siberian city of Kemerovo, Russia, on March 25, 2018. (Photo: Maksim Lisov/Reuters)

<p>Members of the Emergency Situations Ministry work at the scene of a fire in a shopping mall in the Siberian city of Kemerovo, Russia, March 25, 2018. (Photo: Maksim Lisov/Reuters) </p>
Russian shopping mall fire

Members of the Emergency Situations Ministry work at the scene of a fire in a shopping mall in the Siberian city of Kemerovo, Russia, March 25, 2018. (Photo: Maksim Lisov/Reuters)

<p>Members of the Emergency Situations Ministry work to extinguish a fire in a shopping mall in the Siberian city of Kemerovo, Russia, on March 25, 2018. (Photo: Marina Lisova/Reuters) </p>
Russian shopping mall fire

Members of the Emergency Situations Ministry work to extinguish a fire in a shopping mall in the Siberian city of Kemerovo, Russia, on March 25, 2018. (Photo: Marina Lisova/Reuters)

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