A woman named Yevgenia told the newspaper Komsomolskaya Pravda that her niece Vika called her at 4:11, right after the fire broke out, from the movie theater where so numerous children from Treschevsky found themselves trapped.
Witnesses reported that no fire alarm went off inside the mall.
The toll in Winter Cherry mall fire in Russian Federation rose to 64 by Monday afternoon, said ANI. The bodies of six victims have yet to be located.
Anna Kuznetsova, Russia’s children’s rights commissioner, said the fire had been caused by incompetence and warned there were many similar shopping centers. “Fire!’, and we started running out”.
In a Facebook post (in Russian), Kemerovo politician Anton Gorelkin said that “fire exits were shut, turning the complex into a trap” and “there was no organised evacuation”.
“Regrettably, we have to announce that 64 people have died in the disaster”, he said.
‘The smoke was so thick that you couldn’t see a stretched out hand. Health Minister Veronika Skvortsova, who visited the Keremovo hospital where the victims were receiving treatment, said on Russian state television that the patient in the gravest condition is an 11-year-old boy who jumped out of a window from the fourth floor.
An 11-year old, whose parents and little sister perished in the fire, is still hospitalized with serious wounds, indicated the capital TV.
President Vladimir Putin expressed condolences and ordered the minister of emergency services to fly to the scene, the Kremlin said.
The prosecutors will pay special attention to the alarm and fire-extinguishing systems and if any violations are found will take immediate steps to ensure the problems are solved, TASS reported.
It started in a textile shop on the second floor of the five-storey Megahria shopping centre apparently due to an electrical short circuit.
Local reports suggest the the cinema doors may have been locked at the time of the fire, with staff often choosing to lock the doors to stop gatecrashers getting in. How many are there? Firefighters said smoke was billowing out and the remaining structures were at risk of collapse.
Kemerovo, a key coal-producing area, lies about 3,600km (2,200 miles) east of Moscow. It took more than 17 hours for the team to douse the flame.
Just months later, in September 2013, 37 people were killed when a fire swept through a psychiatric hospital in the village of Luka in northwest Russian Federation.
The fire is thought to be the deadliest since 2009 when 156 people were killed in the city of Perm when an indoor pyrotechnics display at a nightclub went wrong.