UN chief has expressed his deepest condolences to the families and friends of the 64 victims who were killed in a major fire at a busy shopping mall packed with children and their parents in Russia’s Kemerovo city.
The fire at the Winter Cherry mall in Kemerovo, about 3,000 kilometres east of Moscow, was doused on Monday.
Russian television showed images of thick black smoke billowing out of the roof of the shopping centre.
Emergency services minister Vladimir Puchkov said on Russian television: “We have recorded that unfortunately as a result of the accident 64 people died.”
“The Secretary-General is saddened to learn about the deadly fire at a shopping mall in the city of Kemerovo in the Russian Federation,” a statement issued by his spokesman said.
The UN Secretary General Antonio Guterres wished speedy recovery to the wounded and extended his deepest condolences to the families of the victims and to the people and government of Russia.
Russia’s Investigative Committee said the roof collapsed in two theatres of the cinema in the blaze, which erupted at around 4 p.m. local time on Sunday.
The doors of one of the shopping centre’s cinemas, where children were watching cartoon films, were locked and people did not hear alarms, Witnesses told Russian television.