37 killed in Russia shopping mall fire

NEW DELHI March 26, 2018: At least 37 people, including children, were killed and 69 others reported missing after a massive blaze broke out at a shopping mall in the Russian city of Kemerovo, media reports said on Monday (March 26).

The first reports of the fire at the Winter Cherry Mall started coming in on Sunday afternoon, said media reports.

The police immediately cordoned off the area and began evacuation.

An emergency services official confirmed on Sunday night that the missing people included 40 children. At 45 people were also injured.

Various social media posts said that fire alarms failed to go off as people rushed in panic through thick clouds of smoke, some jumping out of windows.

Russian Emergencies Minister Vladimir Puchkov said firefighters were not being able to reach the interiors of the mall due to high temperature.

“The firefighters and rescuers are working at the risk of their own lives… There is no access to certain rooms because of high temperatures,” Sputnik news quoted the minister as saying, said media reports.

According to the latest report, over 660 people are engaged in emergency response activities.

A group of children from a school in Terescevsky were at a movie theatre near the centre of the blaze.