Investigators demand arrest of suspects in Kemerovo shopping mall fire tragedy

Russian fire's death toll rises to 64, many of them children at shopping mall

Russian fire's death toll rises to 64, many of them children at shopping mall

The Ekho Mosvky radio station quoted two witnesses who said the fire alarm did not go off and that the mall's staff did not organize the evacuation.

Some 200 animals are also believed to have died in the mall's petting zoo.

The blaze, one of the deadliest in Russian Federation since the end of the Soviet Union, swept through the upper floors of the complex that included a cinema and children's play area.

Health Minister Veronika Skvortsova, who visited the Keremovo hospital where the victims were receiving treatment, said on Russian state television that the patients included a 11-year-old boy who jumped out of a window from the fourth floor.

Visiting a makeshift memorial of stuffed toys, flowers and candles President Putin admitted he "felt like wailing" over the tragic loss of life in one of the most severe fire disasters to be recorded in Russian Federation this century. Emergency services minister Vladimir Puchkov said on Russian television: "We have recorded that unfortunately as a result of the accident 64 people died". "Why? Because of some criminal negligence, because of slovenliness".

The FlashSiberia news agency cited anonymous regional officials as saying that Tuleyev is expected to be dismissed after an investigation. The alarm system and fire extinguishing features did not function properly. Heartbreaking reports of the youngsters' final moments suggest many were trapped in a cinema where they'd gone to enjoy a screening of a kids movie.

"What is happening here - this was not a combat situation, not an unexpected methane outburst in a mine". People came to relax, children. We're talking about demography and losing so many people'.

The aunt of one of the fifth-graders said her niece, 11-year-old Viktoria, had called her just minutes after the fire began. Because of what? Because of some criminal negligence, slovenliness'.

The fire at the four-story Winter Cherry mall in the Siberian city of Kemerovo was extinguished by Monday morning after burning through the night.

Chernov added that the fire safety situation at the Winter Cherry Mall resembles those of other shopping centers in the region, where authorities will now conduct safety checks.

The Zimnyaya Vishnya shopping centre in Prospekt Lenina Street hit by fire.

It is unclear whether or not people are still unaccounted for with rescuers sifting through the debris to search for bodies and unlikely survivors.

Six of the bodies have not yet been recovered.

Around ten people are still missing after the blaze broke out on Sunday afternoon, when the mall was packed with shoppers and cinemagoers.

Puchkov would not immediately say how numerous victims were.

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