Russian Federation: 37 killed, over 100 rescued in Kemerovo's shopping mall blaze


At least 37 people have been killed with dozens more missing after a fire began in an indoor trampoline park inside a Siberian shopping mall early on Monday (local time).

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

The fire department says the blaze started on the 4th floor, which houses movie theaters and a children's play area.

Kemerovo is about 800 kilometers (approximately 500 miles) northeast of the Kazakhstan border, around 3,600 kilometers (1,800 miles) east of the Russian capital Moscow.

The blaze started on an upper floor of the Winter Cherry complex while numerous victims were at the cinema.

Reports from witnesses have described panic as people realised there was a fire spreading, with many saying on social media that there were no fire alarms or loudspeaker warnings, and that people had to find their own way through the top floor of the mall, which was already filled with smoke.

It has a auto park for 250 cars, shops, a bowling alley, a children's centre, a cinema, food courts and a petting zoo, the agency said.

Thirteen people remained in hospital on Monday night, including an 11-year-old boy who was seriously injured when he jumped out of a window.

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In December 2001, a very big fire started unintentionally by a fireworks vendor engulfed the historic downtown Mesa Redonda shopping area in Lima, leaving 447 people dead.

The fire - among the deadliest in years in Russian Federation - has been extinguished, emergency officials said, but rescuers were having difficulty in reaching the upper floors of the building due to a roof collapse.

Around 120 people had been evacuated from the burning centre, rescuers said on Sunday.

He said "64 is the final figure", and included six people still buried under the rubble.

Opened in 2013, the Winter Cherry shopping mall covers an area 23,000 square meters, and includes parking space for 250 cars.

"They took three minutes - three (expletive) minutes! - to put on their masks", Lillevyali said, also with tears in his eyes. It's not known how many children have now been found, or are among the dead and injured.

Within hours of opening an investigation into the cause of the fire, the Investigative Committee spokeswoman Svetlana Petrenko said authorities were looking into several "serious violations" of fire safety codes.

Russian state investigators said four people had been detained over the fire, including the owners and leasers of outlets inside the shopping mall.