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  1. #1
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    48 dead after Russian shopping mall blaze



    (Video at link below).

    The blaze started on an upper floor of the Winter Cherry complex and many of the victims were in a cinema.

    Video posted on social media showed people jumping from windows to escape the flames on Sunday.

    Some 660 emergency personnel have been deployed in the rescue effort.

    The cause of the blaze is not yet known but authorities have launched an investigation.

    Smoke billowed from windows as fire crews worked to evacuate the property.

    Kemerovo, a key coal-producing area, lies about 3,600km east of Moscow.
    The complex, which was opened in 2013, includes movie theatres, restaurants, a sauna, a bowling alley and a children's zoo.

    The fire is believed to started in part of the building that contains the entertainment complex, local media reported.

    Deputy governor of the Kemerovo region, Vladimir Chernov, said 13 bodies had been found in one of the movie halls.


    "According to preliminary information, the roof collapsed in two cinemas," a Russian investigative committee said in a statement.


    Emergency services managed to evacuate about 100 people from the building and rescued another 20, Tass news agency said.


    The cause of the blaze is not yet known but authorities have launched an investigation.

    - BBC

    https://www.radionz.co.nz/news/world...ing-mall-blaze



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    ‘Our children were burning, and we just watched’ A fire at a shopping center in Russia kills at least 64 people. Meduza reports from Kemerovo.






    Relatives of people caught inside Kemerovo’s “Winter Cherry” shopping center during the fire on Sunday, March 25, 2018. Photo taken at the gymnasium of a local school.
    Danil Aikin / TASS / Scanpix / LETA





    On Sunday, March 25, the “Winter Cherry” shopping center in Kemerovo caught fire. The blaze started on the fourth floor, near the movie theater, where many children had come to see “Sherlock Gnomes.” At 11:30 a.m. on Monday, federal emergency workers put the death toll at 64 people, saying another six were still trapped under the building’s rubble, which in some places had started to reignite. Meduza correspondent Irina Kravtsova went to Kemerovo, as the fire continued to put lives in danger.



    The “Winter Cherry” started burning at about 4 p.m., local time in Kemerovo, and by 5 p.m. relatives of the people caught inside the shopping center first started gathering at the gymnasium of the nearest school. By 6 p.m., the gym was full of people awaiting any information from emergency workers. Upstairs, school officials propped up mattresses on chairs, so family members could lie down and try to rest. By seven in the morning on Monday, when Meduza’s correspondent arrived at the school, there were maybe 50 people still there, still waiting for information about their loved ones.


    Beneath the basketball hoop in the gym, atop several school desks, there was a 12-liter yellow bucket of tea, a can of instant coffee, cheese sandwiches, and plastic cups full of water and the herbal sedative valerian root. People were sitting on benches at the center of the gym, some in twos, some in threes, and some people sat alone. Among the crowd were Alexander and Olga Lillevyali, covering themselves with a checkered white and blue blanket. Three of their daughters had just burned alive. Two of them were eleven years old. The youngest was five.


    Alexander says he took his daughters to the mall on Sunday to see “Sherlock Gnomes.” The movie theater was on the fourth floor. He bought each girl a ticket and a box of popcorn, showed them to their seats, and then walked down to the first floor to wait. The show started at 2:40 p.m., but about 30 minutes later one of his daughters called him and said the theater was filling up with smoke, and they couldn’t get out because the doors locked. Lillevyali started running back upstairs, seeing that the whole shopping center was now filling with smoke.


    “As I was running up the stairs, somebody handed me a wet rag, and I used it to cover my nose. When I reached the fourth floor, I broke a window to send the draft upwards. Then I collapsed,” said Alexander. “I started crawling, but I realized at this point that I’d lost all strength. I’d inhaled so much carbon monoxide that I was about to faint. My daughter kept calling me and calling me. I just shouted into the phone that she needed to try to get out of the theater, but there was nothing I could do. In front of me, it was already flames.” As the man spoke, tears streamed down his face. He pressed his hands to his eyes, trying to stop himself.


    Unable to reach his children, Alexander ran back down the stairs, trying to find any rescue workers to help. Outside the mall, he met the first team of emergency responders: firemen come to put out the blaze.


    “I told them that there were children locked in a smoke-filled theater on the fourth floor. That they needed to be rescued, and they were still alive. They agreed, but they took three minutes — three fucking minutes! — to put on their masks! And only then did they come into the building,” Lillevyali says. “I showed them the stairwell that was the fastest way up to the movie theater, and they started to follow me, but then some guy told them that there was a fire at the mall’s central staircase, and those bastards followed him off. I told them: ‘Give me one of your masks! I’ll pull them out myself!’ But they told me: ‘Can’t do it. Everything has to be according to regulations.’ My girls were left to burn because of the goddamn regulations.”


    A social worker in a red jacket walked into the gymnasium. In a loud voice, she asked everyone, “Whose child had a cross around his neck on a red cord?” A woman near the entrance who seemed to be sleeping on her husband’s knees suddenly sat up.


    “Are you sure it was red? Maybe it was more orange?” she asked with tears in her eyes.


    “I’m sorry. But it was red — scarlet, in fact,” the social work answered.


    “The worst is yet to come”

    Olga Lillevyali came to the “Winter Cherry” as soon as her husband called and said their children were dead.


    “While the fire burned, we stood outside for six hours, and nobody came out to talk to us even once!” the woman says. “At about 5:30 [p.m.], the police cordoned off the shopping center. The officers were pushy. We ran across the street, back and forth, while the ‘Cherry’ burned. They didn’t let us come near, and they didn’t explain anything. There were plumes of smoke above the building, our children were burning, and we just watched.”
    People outside the burning “Winter Cherry” shopping center
    Danil Aikin / TASS / Scanpix / LETA
    Olga says she kept coming back to the school, where emergency workers set up a headquarters, to ask for any news. But there never was any. “They just shoved cookies and sandwiches in our mouths,” she says. “My husband and I tried to stop one of the police officers at the school, to ask him what to expect, but he waved us away rudely. They didn’t care. Finally, my husband and I couldn’t take it anymore, and we started yelling, ‘Seredyuk, get out here!’ We’d heard on the news that he was somewhere there at the school. Think about it: we learned this from the news! He didn’t even have the guts to come out and face us. By about 9:30 [p.m.], my husband grabbed a police officer by the shirt and started to scream, “Show yourself! Will you tell us how many children died? What should we expect? Where can we get information?” Olga says she knows the mayor, and she knows that Seredyuk has three children, which is why she was particularly shocked by his unresponsiveness.


    The first announcement to the gathered relatives came at about 10 in the evening. According to eyewitnesses, deputy head of the local emergency workers Evgeny Dedyukhin appeared to be extremely confused when speaking, telling the crowd only that firefighters were on the scene, and there was nothing more known at the time. Closer to 11, Mayor Ilya Seredyuk and Lieutenant Governor Vladimir Chernov addressed the group at the school. People shouted at the mayor, demanding that officials report on the rescue effort every 20 minutes. Witnesses say they granted this request for a bit, before disappearing once again. It seemed like the local officials didn’t know what they were doing, people told Meduza. Witnesses say a group of tough-looking men surrounded and guarded Seredyuk and Chernov, each time they spoke. Olga Lillevyali says one of them “smiled” while filming her husband’s face, when he demanded that the officials give the families more information.


    One of the men in the gym told Meduza that, when he heard about the fire, he joked to his wife that the government would pin the whole thing on some kid with a lighter. He says he was still surprised when Kemerovo’s lieutenant governor actually told the crowd that one of the children in the mall’s trampoline center might have set fire to the foam filler. (According to some reports, the fire started at the children’s play area.)


    In the 30 minutes Meduza’s correspondent spoke to Olga Lillevyali, a social worker came up to her three times and asked her to repeat how many of her children died in the fire, and how old they were. Each time, Olga dutifully answered each question. Each time, she started to cry.


    “The way everything is set up in this government, you’ll still have to give this evidence several more times,” the social worker said. “Don’t cry. You’re going to need those tears. The worst is yet to come.”


    Afterwards, Lillevyali and her husband were summoned by investigators.


    “My son is still burning, and you’re shoving a sandwich down my throat”

    The “Winter Cherry” wasn’t the most popular shopping center in Kemerovo, but locals say it still had a good bowling alley, swimming pool, skating rink, movie theater, and cafe. That’s why teachers often brought school children to this mall. Alena Zipunova says her daughter, a fifth grader named Vika, went to the “Winter Cherry” with her class on Sunday to enjoy the start of their spring break. First they bowled a few rounds, then they went skating, and then they went to the movies to see the same animated feature as the Lillevyalis, albeit on a different screen. Fifteen minutes after the movie started, the fire broke out. Nobody could get out of the theater. The entire class, along with their teacher, burned to death.


    “Some of their classmates didn’t want to go, but ours went,” says Vika Zipunova’s grandmother, sitting beside Alena in the gym. “So God kept some of them from death, but not our children.”


    Alena Zipunova verifies what other victims’ relatives told Meduza: She spent the whole night at the school gymnasium, but she never got any information from the authorities. She says the social worker asked her how many of her children died in the fire and how old they were “about eight times.” “I wanted to run outside to get away from her, if only to be alone to cry, but she found me there, too,” Alena says.


    Not far from Zipunova, a man addresses a group of women who have assembled around him: “I heard that a woman with two children burned to death in an elevator. She screamed and called for help, but the rescuers couldn’t even get near.” “They’re probably mine,” a young woman says hopelessly, and begins to cry.


    The women in the gym mostly sit staring at the floor or the wall. When one of them suddenly starts sobbing, it spreads and soon others are weeping with her. Now and again, emergency workers and paramedics walk up and encourage people to get a breath of fresh air or eat something.


    “My son is burning out there, and you’re shoving a sandwich down my throat. Have you lost your mind?” a woman in a blue dress says, pushing away an emergency worker’s hand. “He’s probably already turned to ash, my God!”


    Someone’s phone rings. It’s the mother whose son was wearing the cross on an orange cord. She answers and listens silently for about two minutes. When the call ends, she lowers her phone and starts crying. She’s just learned that her son was found dead under the rubble. A woman working for the emergency responders runs up to her with a glass of valerian root and a syringe. “It’s not supposed to be like this,” she says in a barely audible voice, and continues weeping.


    A memorial to the victims of the Kemerovo shopping center fire, March 26, 2018
    Danil Aikin / TASS / Scanpix / LETA


    “I have to do this”

    At 6 a.m. on Monday, March 26, there’s a line outside the Kemerovo regional blood bank. It’s mostly young people. At one point, an employee comes outside and tells the crowd that there’s no further need for blood donations. She says they can take another few people, but nobody under 130 pounds. The people in line start pleading with her to take their blood anyway. “First you said you only have to be 110 pounds!” a woman in line yells.


    Eighteen-year-old Yulia Kononova told Meduza that she came to give blood to support the families who suffered in the fire. “I was going to come to the mall myself yesterday to meet with friends. My sister was going to come, too, but at the last minute we decided to stay home,” the young woman says. Standing not far from her is a man named Mikhail, whose five-year-old brother burned to death on Sunday. “I have to do this,” he says, when asked why he wants to give blood. In the end, however, he's turned away and told to come back on Friday for the next available appointment.


    According to Ilgiz Vafin, the head doctor at the Kemerovo Blood Bank, no one informed the city’s residents that the victims in Sunday’s tragedy needed blood, but people started calling in and showing up 90 minutes after the fire started. By 10 a.m. on Monday, just two hours after the facility opened, 70 people had already donated blood. A half an hour later, an employee addressed the donors in line with another announcement: there was no longer a need for any new blood.


    https://meduza.io/en/feature/2018/03...e-just-watched

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    Pure unimaginable horror!

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    Russia: At least 64 dead, including many children, in horrific shopping mall fire

    By Clara Weiss
    27 March 2018


    A fire Sunday in the industrial Siberian city of Kemerovo has taken the lives of at least 64 people, many of them children. Dozens were wounded, and dozens are still missing. The fire broke out at 4 p.m. in the afternoon and was not extinguished for over 12 hours. The horrific catastrophe is set to fuel social tensions in Russia as the shopping mall, which disregarded basic fire safety regulations, is owned by the billionaire Denis Shtengelov.
    The fire broke out on March 25 on the fourth floor of the shopping mall “Winter Cherry,” near a movie theatre where dozens of children were watching the film Sherlock Gnomes. The fire spread rapidly, and heavily toxic smoke filled the building. The firemen arrived late, and it took them hours before they could reach the fourth floor. The fire was localised only after 10 hours, and smaller fires in the building were still raging on Monday.



    The shopping mall was a popular destination for children. Among those who perished on Sunday was reportedly an entire school class and their teacher, who travelled there from a nearby town.

    The building of the shopping mall has been all but destroyed, and firemen have been risking their lives entering it to search for victims. As of this writing, only 17 victims have been identified. Many bodies were so mutilated that they are unidentifiable without the aid of DNA tests. Several bodies still lie under the debris. Russian media reports on Sunday indicated that over 150 people might have been killed or injured, and that official figures likely understate the magnitude of the disaster.

    The fourth floor of the shopping mall also included a small petting zoo; all 200 animals died in the blaze.
    The fire was not an “accident.” The Russian liberal newspaper Novaya Gazeta reported that basic fire regulations had been violated in the crassest manner, making it only a question of time before such a disaster occurred.
    Fire signals did not work. The Russian investigative committee reported on Monday that, when the fire alarm reached him, a guard at the shopping mall had turned it off, for reasons that remain unclear. Workers at the shopping mall had to personally inform the people inside the building about the fire.

    Fire exits, to the extent that they even existed, were blocked. According to the father of three victims of the fire, the children in the movie theatre were unable to exit at all and burned alive. In scenes reminiscent of the Grenfell fire in London last summer, people jumped out of the windows in order to escape the fire and toxic smoke.
    It was also reported that the “Winter Cherry” had not been examined for its fire regulations by the authorities for years. A planned inspection in 2016 was cancelled because of “vacation.”

    Reporters on the spot described terrible scenes of desperate parents waiting for hours for news about their children. A reporter for the liberal magazine Meduza spoke to Alexander and Olga Lillevyali, whose three daughters, aged 11 and 5, were burned alive in the movie

    Alexander described how he had tried to get to his daughters in the theatre after one of them called him in despair after the blaze had started:

    “As I was running up the stairs, somebody handed me a wet rag, and I used it to cover my nose. When I reached the fourth floor, I broke a window to send the draft upwards. Then I collapsed. I started crawling, but I realised at this point that I’d lost all strength. I’d inhaled so much carbon monoxide that I was about to faint. My daughter kept calling me and calling me. I just shouted into the phone that she needed to try to get out of the theatre, but there was nothing I could do. In front of me, it was already flames.”

    According to Meduza, the police and officials would not provide reports before 10 p.m. Sunday night—i.e., six hours after the beginning of the fire. One woman told the reporter, “While the fire burned, we stood outside for six hours, and nobody came out to talk to us even once. At about 5:30 [p.m.], the police cordoned off the shopping centre. The officers were pushy. We ran across the street, back and forth, while the ‘Cherry’ burned. They didn’t let us come near, and they didn’t explain anything. There were plumes of smoke above the building, our children were burning, and we just watched.”
    Olga Lillevyali said: “My husband and I tried to stop one of the police officers at the school, to ask him what to expect, but he waved us away rudely. They didn’t care. Finally, my husband and I couldn’t take it anymore, and we started yelling, ‘Seredyuk [the mayor], get out here!’ We’d heard on the news that he was somewhere there at the school. Think about it: we learned this from the news! He didn’t even have the guts to come out and face us. By about 9:30 [p.m.], my husband grabbed a police officer by the shirt and started to scream, ‘Show yourself! Will you tell us how many children died? What should we expect? Where can we get information?’ ”

    Local residents volunteered to donate blood just 90 minutes after the fire started, well before there was an official call for blood donations.

    When Mayor Ilya Seredyuk and Lieutenant Governor Vladimir Chernov addressed the parents waiting at a nearby school for the first time at 11 p.m., surrounded by bodyguards, they were greeted by an angry crowd, demanding regular updates on the situation—but to no avail.

    The anger at the official response and the disastrous death toll in this horrific tragedy are fully justified. Like the Grenfell Tower fire in London, the fire at Kemerovo was not an accident but a social crime, the result of capitalist restoration and decades of systematic underfunding of infrastructure.

    The investigation committee has started investigating four individuals, and local authorities have announced tightening fire regulations. However, there is little reason to believe that anything will change.

    Russia has seen many such mass fires over the past decades. In 2003, a fire in a student dorm of Moscow University took the lives of 44 people, injuring 156; a fire in a nursing home in Krasnodar in 2007 killed 64 people; a fire in a nightclub in Perm in 2009 killed 154; and, in 2015, a fire at a mall in Kazan killed 19 people, and injured 61. “Smaller” fires are a constant occurrence in Russia, as are deadly accidents at workplaces.

    After decades of cutting social spending, Russia, the largest country on earth and home to more than 140 million people, has fewer fire departments than the many-times-smaller Poland, where only 40 million live. Fire regulations are disregarded systematically and on a mass scale by both businesses and the authorities. This is part of a deliberate class policy and an expression of the criminal and callous indifference of the oligarchy and the state apparatus towards the lives of ordinary people.

    The Kemerovo fire is a particularly stark expression of the social relations underlying these catastrophes.
    Kemerovo, a city of half a million people, is located in the major coal mining region of the Kuznetsk Basin. In many ways, it is symbolic of the horrific industrial decline, rising unemployment and poverty, and the devastation of the social infrastructure that characterised capitalist restoration and the past two decades in Russia. It is still home to many industrial facilities and a large, but very impoverished, working class population. In 2015, it was named the poorest town in Siberia with 55 percent of its inhabitants counted as “low-income.”

    Meanwhile, the “Winter Cherry” is part of a subsidiary of the KDV group, which is owned by the oligarch Denis Shtengelov and ranks among Russia’s 100 biggest private companies. In 2017, Bloomberg reported that Denis Shtengelov’s personal wealth exceeded $1 billion. He lives with his wife and three children in Australia, where they are enjoying a life in luxury.
    A typical representative of the Russian oligarchy, Shtengelov started his business activities in the mid-1990s, while whole industrial cities like Kemerovo and his native Tomsk were plunged into poverty. He managed to massively expand his business during the recession in 2008-2009, by buying off rival companies. Between 2012 and 2016, the profit of the KDV group rose from 32.6 billion rubles (about $570 million) a year to 95.3 billion rubles ($1.67 billion). The company has particularly benefitted from a growing demand for cheap candy as prices for cacao rose amid the devaluation of the ruble due to the Western sanctions and the recession of 2014-2016. As of 2017, the KDV group runs 11 producing plants and dozens of logistical centres and employs over 16,000 people.

    In a move that indicated Shtengelov’s fear of exploding social tensions, the billionaire has cynically promised to account for all medical and psychological costs for survivors and relatives of the victims and pay every family 3 million rubles (around $52,500)—a tiny fraction of his own wealth and the annual profits of his company.
    There is no question that Shtengelov and the criminal oligarchy that he represents are fully responsible for the deaths of the dozens of working class people and children who perished on Sunday in the most painful way.

    Russia: At least 64 dead, including many children, in horrific shopping mall fire - World Socialist Web Site
    Last edited by Wilsonandson; 27-03-2018 at 12:56 PM.

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    The building of the shopping mall has been all but destroyed, and firemen have been risking their lives entering it to search for victims. As of this writing, only 17 victims have been identified. Many bodies were so mutilated that they are unidentifiable without the aid of DNA tests. Several bodies still lie under the debris. Russian media reports on Sunday indicated that over 150 people might have been killed or injured, and that official figures likely understate the magnitude of the disaster.
    Residents of Kemerovo demanded at the meeting the resignation of the authorities


    Interfax
    11:15, March 27, 2018
    A reliable source


    On the morning of March 27, residents of Kemerovo went to a spontaneous rally to the building of the regional administration because of a fire in the shopping center "Winter Cherry", which resulted in the death of 64 people, according to official figures.
    According to the "Interfax" correspondent, at least 300 people gathered in Soviets Square, but on video broadcasts you can see that there were a lot more people gathered.
    Citizens asked the authorities to tell the truth about the fire - many do not believe in the officially released number of victims of the tragedy. Others express dissatisfaction with the fact that a small number of rescuers worked on extinguishing the fire.
    When the vice-governor of the Kemerovo region Sergei Tsivilev came out to the crowd, the crowd met him with shouts of "Truth!", "Resign!", "Assassins!".
    According to the correspondent of "Medusa" from the scene, the protesters agreed to independently count the number of victims of the fire in the shopping center - residents will send data on the victims to a common email address.
    After that, the people gathered at the rally demanded that Russian President Vladimir Putin come to them, who flew to Kemerovo on March 27. "Why is the king warm ?! We did not choose it! ", The people chanted, the correspondent of" Medusa "reports.

    LIVE: Protests in Kemerovo for lack of safety after shopping center fire
    Ruptly

    The rally in Kemerovo, on March 27, 2013
    Says Moscow

    According to official data, as a result of a fire in the Kemerovo shopping center "Winter Cherry" killed 64 people. Another 52 people were injured, 12 of them remain in hospitals. In social networks, there are active reports that in fact,
    several hundred people became victims of the fire. The authorities refute this data.
    Since March 27 in the Kemerovo region, a three-day mourning for the victims of the fire in the shopping center "Winter Cherry" has been declared. On Tuesday morning, Russian President Vladimir Putin arrived in Kemerovo. He laid flowers at the spontaneous memorial in memory of the deceased, and then went to meetings with the siloviki, dedicated to eliminating the consequences of the fire.

    http://meduza.io/news/2018/03/27/zhi...stavki-vlastey

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    Putin slams ‘criminal negligence’ that led to deadly Kemerovo inferno as he visits the Siberian city


    "Russian President Vladimir Putin slammed the “criminal negligence” and corruption behind the tragedy in Kemerovo, Russia, where more than 60 people, including many children, perished in a massive blaze.

    Some 50 people were injured or suffered from smoke inhalation in the blaze, the casualties made worse by violations in the mall building's construction and management. Investigators have found that emergency exits were blocked, impeding mall-goers' evacuations, and a guard is suspected of having turned off the building's alarms. At least four people have been arrested in connection with the tragedy.


    Putin arrived in Kemerovo on Tuesday. Visiting the site of the deadly blaze, he laid flowers at the makeshift memorial set up there by locals, where people have been laying mementos like toys and pictures of the deceased. The president is also expected to get reports from local emergency services and the regional government.
    Speaking at a conference in Kemerovo, Putin said negligence and carelessness led to the tragedy.


    "What is going on, this isn't warfare, or a sudden methane outburst in a mine. People, children, came there to relax. We talk about demographics, and we lose so many people to what? To criminal negligence, to sloppiness," Putin said.


    Putin also implied that corruption was involved, as he called for a thorough investigation. “Every official’s actions need to be legally assessed,” he said. “They’ll sign anything for money.”


    On Tuesday morning, hundreds of people gathered at the Kemerovo regional administration headquarters. Chanting "Truth, truth," they demanded that those responsible for the faulty fire safety measures at the stricken mall be punished for the loss of life caused by neglect."

    https://www.rt.com/news/422417-putin...ovo-mall-fire/
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    ^That is beyond fucking belief... Those poor people. Can't imagine what they're going through right now.

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    Thousands in Russian city rally after shopping mall fire

    AP News
    27/03/18



    MOSCOW – Thousands of angry residents are rallying in the Russian city of Kemerovo to demand a full probe following a fire in a shopping mall that killed at least 64 people, many of them children.

    The protesters are disputing the official death toll, saying that the authorities are hiding the real scale of the disaster. The blaze engulfed the Winter Cherry mall in Kemerovo on Sunday, the first weekend of the school recess, trapping dozens of parents and children. Eyewitnesses reported that fire alarms were silent and many doors were locked.

    President Vladimir Putin has flown to Kemerovo but has not spoken to the protesters yet.

    http://www.usatoday.com/story/news/w...ire/461286002/

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    Covering up the number of dead?

    Now why would they do that?

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    Victims' families say Russian mall fire claimed HUNDREDS of lives: Heartbroken father says corrupt officials are hiding true death toll and reveals he heard his family die over the phone


    • Igor Vostrikov, 31, lost his wife, sister and three children Anna, 7, Artem, 5, Roman, 2, in the appalling blaze
    • Vostrikov's family called him while shut inside one of three cinemas in the burning Winter Cherry complex
    • The official death toll from the Kemerovo inferno is 64, with 41 children dying in the 700C blaze at the mall
    • But Vostrikov said the authorities are lying about the number of victims - and thinks up to 350 may have died
    • It comes as President Vladimir Putin laid flowers at the scene of the horror and blamed 'criminal negligence'


    By Will Stewart In Moscow for MailOnline

    PUBLISHED: 09:02 BST, 27 March 2018 | UPDATED: 09:10 BST, 27 March 2018

    A grieving man has told how his entire family was wiped out in the Kemerovo shopping mall inferno - and said the true number of victims could be as high as 350.

    Igor Vostrikov, 31, lost his wife, sister and three children Anna, 7, Artem, 5, Roman, 2 in the appalling blaze. The current official death toll is 64 people - 41 of them children.

    Vostrikov's family was shut inside one of three cinemas in the burning Winter Cherry complex, and used their phones to beg that that the doors were unbolted so they could escape.

    As Vladimir Putin visited the scene of the carnage, the bereft widower has spoken of his incalculable loss, his fury at corrupt politicians including the Kremlin leader who he holds responsible for poor safety at the Kemerovo shopping mall - and his conviction that the Russian authorities are hiding the true death toll.

    It came as Putin today laid flowers at the scene of the horror - and said 'criminal negligence' was behind the deaths.

    'What is happening here? These are not armed hostilities. This is not an unexpected release of methane. People, children came to relax,' Putin said. 'We are talking about demographics but are losing so many people. Because of what? Because of some criminal negligence, slovenliness,' Putin said in comments released by the Kremlin.
    'The first feelings when they speak about the number of victims and the number of dead children... one feels like wailing - not crying,' he added.

    But in a heartrending video, grieving businessman Vostrikov said: 'My name is Igor Vostrikov, in this fire I have lost my sister Alyona Sabadash, my wife Elena Vostrikova, and my three children, aged seven, five and two years old.
    'They died because they were locked in the cinema - and nobody is telling this.
    'They called from inside, they asked for help, saying that they were locked in there, 'We can't breathe…'

    Victims' families say Russian mall fire claimed HUNDREDS of lives | Daily Mail Online


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    Death toll in Siberian mall fire soars five-fold as EU expels diplomats



    By bne IntelliNews March 27, 2018

    The death toll in the blaze at the Winter Cherry shopping mall in the Siberian city of Kemerovo could be five times the official estimate and those killed “mostly consist of children,” it emerged on March 26. Moreover, CCTV footage of the start of the blaze that has shocked Russia suggests it was a terrorist act where an incendiary bomb was deliberately thrown into the children's play area.

    Residents of the small town are openly questioning the official death toll which stood at 64 at the time of writing and say they believe “more than 300” people died in the inferno and possibly as many as 570 lost their lives.
    The victims could mostly have been children who were bussed into the small regional city from nearby settlements to enjoy the upcoming Easter break.

    A CCTV video posted on social media shows the start of the fire that broke out on the fourth floor in the children's play area next to a cinema, and appears to be a deliberate terrorist act. In the footage a man walked into the play area carrying a bag which he tossed into the room before quickly leaving. Flames exploded in the room a few moments later and thick black smoke filled the room within seconds. People could be seen running from the area in panic.

    The flames spread extremely rapidly, trapping many on the upper floors. Other footage showed some shoppers leaping from upper story windows. One relative interviewed by local TV said that her 11-year-old grandson was now in hospital as a result. “All his bones are broken and the child’s mother and father died in the fall,” she told the interviewer.

    “We live in a small town and everyone knows someone who died here,” another women told local TV. “I looked at the list of those who didn't survive and I realised that I know half the names on the list,” she continued, breaking into tears.

    There are reports that the authorities are trying to play down the death toll and that first responders were told to be “silent.”

    “We have a family member who is a fireman. Everyone was told to keep silent. At night body bags were prepared: about 100 bags for small children and another 60 for adults. Do you think there were only 15 people in the cinema? If it was a premiere then probably the hall was packed and no one could get out. It is obvious that more than 100 people died,” Yulia Kiryakova wrote on social mediareports the local paper.

    Collating the information being posted on social media by relatives and witnesses, the estimate of the death toll is closer to 350 and could be as high as 570 with “the majority of the dead being children,” Moscow 24/7 reported.
    Residents of Kemerovo have piled flowers outside the shopping centre in a rapidly growing makeshift shrine. In Moscow too, residents of the capital have been laying flowers and candles on the pavement outside the Kemerovo regional representative’s building; Russia’s regions maintain de facto embassies in Moscow close to the government quarters.

    bne IntelliNews - Death toll in Siberian mall fire soars five-fold as EU expels diplomats


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    Quote Originally Posted by harrybarracuda View Post
    Covering up the number of dead?
    OhDoh will be along soon to say that is not possible.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Wilsonandson View Post
    Death toll in Siberian mall fire soars five-fold as EU expels diplomats
    Are you suggesting there is a linkage?

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    Quote Originally Posted by bsnub View Post
    OhDoh will be along soon to say that is not possible.
    Reading my post #7 would give you a hint as to The LORDS opinion. But I understand you have difficulty with long sentences, the English language and logic.

    The relevant part to clarify Russian position for the "special ones amongst us.:

    Quote Originally Posted by OhOh View Post
    Putin also implied that corruption was involved, as he called for a thorough investigation. “Every official’s actions need to be legally assessed,”

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    Quote Originally Posted by OhOh View Post
    Reading my post #7 would give you a hint as to The LORDS opinion. But I understand you have difficulty with long sentences, the English language and logic.

    The relevant part to clarify Russian position for the "special ones amongst us.:
    And if anyone knows about corruption, it's that boy.


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