MOSCOW, March 26 (RAPSI) – Negligence along with violations during construction and lack of control over fire safety may’ve caused fire in a mall in Russia’s Kemerovo which had left at least 64 persons dead, Russia’s High Commissioner for Human Rights Tatiana Moskalkova has said.
According to the Commissioner, reasons for the tragedy have not been identified yet but there is a high probability that the abovementioned reasons may’ve caused it. She noted that in 2009 a fire in Perm’s “Khromaya Loshad” (“Lame Horse”) nightclub left 156 persons dead. Last December, there was a fire in the “Aist” mall in the Moscow Region that left 3 persons dead. Overall, there were 10 large fires in malls last year.
The fire in the “Zimnyaya Vishnya” (“Winter Cherry”) mall in Kemerovo occurred on March 25. Investigators reported that 64 persons, including children, were killed in the accident. A criminal case has been launched over involuntary manslaughter, violation of fire safety regulations that left more than two persons dead and provisions of services that don’t meet safety requirements.
Four persons were arrested and questioned, including a formal head of the mall’s owner company, a renter of a place where the fire allegedly began, a head and an employee in an organization maintaining the fire alarm, the Investigative Committee reports. The fifth person, a guard who allegedly turned off the emergency notification system when he received a fire signal, may be arrested soon as well.
Investigators note that 70 persons were questioned as witnesses and allegedly numerous violations made during the mall construction were found. It was also revealed that fire exits were blocked.