Death toll from Siberia shopping mall blaze rises to 52

Daniiln Aikin  TASS

Daniiln Aikin TASS

On Tuesday thousands of people gathered in Moscow and other cities to mourn the victims and vent their anger at the authorities after children were trapped in a locked cinema as the inferno spread through the mall.

The inspections, targeting malls in Russian Federation with "entertainment centers" and movie theaters, are scheduled to wrap up on April 16.

A fire broke out Sunday afternoon at the shopping mall in Kemerovo city in southwestern Siberia, killing 64 people, including many children. On 28 March, the Russian diplomatic mission was visited by several tens of citizens, heads of Belarusian ministries and government bodies, parliament, worldwide organizations, representatives of Belaya Rus public association, the Belarusian Union of Women and the BRSM Youth Union, and heads of several foreign embassies in Belarus. The fire killed 64 people, 41 of them are children.

A woman walks past tributes of flowers, soft toys and candles placed outside the Russian Embassy in Kiev.

"Possibly they didn't want to spoil the positive mood after the elections and there was hope that the tragedy would not turn out to be so large-scale". Russian media reported the doors had been locked.

Alexander Bastrykin, head of the Russian Investigative Committee, told Kremlin President Vladimir Putin the cause was most likely a short circuit.

The boy's parents and younger sister died in the fire, Ms Skvortsova said.

"Why? Because of some criminal negligence, because of slovenliness".

While Putin was in the city, he did not come onto the square to meet the protesters and met a group of locals separately.

Funerals for the dead began in Kemerovo Wednesday, with the first services taking place at the Kirovskoye cemetery. Shoppers were reportedly not even warned to evacuate by the mall's security.

Elsewhere in Kemerovo, residents were mourning English teacher Tatyana Darsaliya who also died in the fire.

Russian television showed images of thick black smoke billowing out of the roof of the shopping centre.

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