June 24, 2018

Amid mounting anger at scene of mallfire, Putin pledges action

29 March 2018, 01:44 | Simon Arnold

Russian demonstrators calls for investigation into shopping mall fire that killed at least 64 people

Smoke rises above a multi-story shopping center in the Siberian city of Kemerovo about 3,000 kilometers east of Moscow Russia on Sunday

Putin directly voiced widely expressed suspicions that those who authorized it must have been bribed.

Investigators say the alarm was off at the time of the fire.

Russian news outlet Novorossia Today described the fire, which occurred on Sunday, as one of the deadliest in Russia's "post-Soviet" history.

Many locals do not believe the official death toll of 64 and suspect that hundreds of people were killed in the blaze and that a cover-up is underway, something Putin has flatly denied.

Although authorities say they have recovered all of the bodies from the charred remains of the mall, numerous corpses were so badly damaged by the fire that they can only be identified via DNA testing.

There were shouts of "killers!" and calls for the region's governor, Aman Tuleyev, to resign over fire safety failures. Security guards could have triggered another alarm, but the guard tasked with doing so did not, Bastrykin told Putin.

The victims included six fifth-graders from the town of Treshchevsky outside Kemerovo who were watching the Peter Rabbit computer-animated film and found the doors at the movie theatre locked.

Authorities said they detained five people on charges relating to the deaths and safety violations.

"Most of the staff ran away and left parents and their children to their fate", he said. Bastrykin said investigators were still establishing why the auditorium had been locked, saying it may have been to prevent people without tickets from entering. Originally a candy factory, the 23,000-square-meter space was converted to a shopping mall in 2013. I identified them yesterday.

Officials were booed when they urged the crowd to disperse, after the protest had already lasted seven hours, Russia's RIA news agency reported.

Fifty-nine bodies have been found so far, the Investigative Committee said. Vladlen Aksenov, the Deputy Chief of Russia's Emergency Service claimed this as Interfax reported.

Pope Francis says he is "deeply saddened" by the fire at a shopping mall in Russian Federation. Some bystanders attempted to rush up to the mall's fourth story where the theater was located but were held back, according to witness reports collected by The Daily Mail. Some were holding photos of children who were killed. There were also chants of "Power must answer".

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