Russia’s mall fire: Protesters demand resignation of mayor, governor

Moscow [Russia]: A large number of people on Tuesday gathered in front of a municipal building at Kemerovo in Russia to protest against the negligent behaviour of the authorities leading to an outbreak of fire at Zimnyaya Vishnya (Winter Cherry) shopping mall.

About 4,000 demonstrators gathered in front of the mall and raised doubts over the official figures of those who died, alleging that the number is much higher than 64 people, reports The Washington Post.

The protesters further demanded the resignation of Kemerovo Mayor Ilya Seredyuk and regional Governor Aman Tuleyev.

As per the local officials, a child may have lit a foam ball in the children’s play area, which might have caused the outbreak of the fire and trapped the children within a theatre hall situated in the mall, as told by The Washington Post.

Reportedly, the fire alarms did not go off while all the emergency exit doors were locked. The investigative committee informed that the alarms were out of service since March 19 and no manual alarms were kept in-place of the automatic alarms.

On Tuesday morning, Russian president Vladimir Putin visited the hospital morgue where the deceased had been kept for post-mortem and 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.

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. (ANI)