Russian mall fire: Putin indicates criminal negligence

Moscow: Russian President Vladimir Putin on Tuesday termed the Russia’s mall fire which killed 64 people as ‘criminal negligence’, as per media reports.

Putin held an unplanned meeting with the members of a civic action group at Kemerovo and assured punishment to those responsible for the massive fire hazard, as reported by the Russian news agency, TASS.

The meeting was attended by the civic workers and the families of the deceased and those were injured in the incident.

“A 100-member investigative group is working here, headed by the Investigative Committee chief. Rest assured, all those responsible will be punished,” TASS quoted Putin as saying.

Putin further refuted the rumors surrounding the figures of the casualties and said that the official figure of the deceased are correct.

He further blamed the Kemerovo’s mayor for lack of safety checks in the building and pointed out that ” there were no checks in the past two years though it was necessary to ensure safety”.

Putin also met the injured and wished them a ‘speedy recovery’.

Late night on March 25 a massive fire engulfed a shopping mall named Zimnyaya Vishnya (Winter Cherry) in Kemerovo in Siberia.

The fire started on the fourth floor of the mall and consumed an area of about 1,600 square meters. It is yet to be ascertained as to what caused the fire.

An investigation has been launched by the Russian authorities.