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Mayhem at the mall: shopping centre chaos with 5 dead, dozens injured in Kemerovo fire

By The Siberian Times reporter
25 March 2018

Boy, 11, jumped from 4th floor window engulfed by inferno; girl, 12, phoned aunt to say ‘Please tell Mum I love her'.

Sergey Moskalenko, 11, pictured jumping for his life from an open window in the mall

At least 5 children and adults have died in a shopping mall fire in Kemerovo. 

Pictures of many 'missing' children were published tonight as parents desperately searched for them. 

The 'Winter Cherry' mall went up in flames with dozens believed to have been trapped and injured in the blaze. 

There had been warnings the structure - now in danger of collapse - was a fire risk. 

At the time of writing the toll of this appalling tragedy is unclear. 

Mayhem at the mall: shopping centre chaos with 5 dead and dozens injured in devastating Kemerovo fire


Mayhem at the mall: shopping centre chaos with 5 dead and dozens injured in devastating Kemerovo fire


Mayhem at the mall: shopping centre chaos with 5 dead and dozens injured in devastating Kemerovo fire
There had been warnings the structure - now in danger of collapse - was a fire risk. Pictures: Vse42.ru


Pictures were posted online of missing children as desperate parents sought to find them. 

Many relatives were unable to contact their loved ones.

A report said some people had sealed themselves in a toilet.

They covered the gaps between doors and floor with wet clothes and called rescuers who were trying to reach them. 

Mayhem at the mall: shopping centre chaos with 5 dead and dozens injured in devastating Kemerovo fire


Mayhem at the mall: shopping centre chaos with 5 dead and dozens injured in devastating Kemerovo fire


Mayhem at the mall: shopping centre chaos with 5 dead and dozens injured in devastating Kemerovo fire


Mayhem at the mall: shopping centre chaos with 5 dead and dozens injured in devastating Kemerovo fire


Mayhem at the mall: shopping centre chaos with 5 dead and dozens injured in devastating Kemerovo fire

Missing: pictures were posted online of children as desperate parents sought to find them


An excruciating video shows Sergey Moskalenko, 11, jumping for his life from an open window in the mall, with black smoke gushing out. 

He crashed onto an awning above a doorway - but amid confusion tonight over the toll, it is believed he miraculously survived.

Separately, 12 year old Viktoria ‘Vika’ Pochankina was trapped in a cinema in the complex in Kemerovo.

At the time of writing, her fate is now known. She had been with classmates watching a film.

Vika spoke to her aunt as the flames raged through the cinema. 

Her aunt Evgenia said: “At about 16.11 I called my niece Vika. She told me: ‘Everything is burning, the doors are blocked. I can’t go out, I can’t breath.’

'I told her: 'Vika, take your clothes off, cover your nose’. 

She answered: 'Auntie, tell all my family I love them, tell mum that I loved her'. The call ended. 

Evgenia said: 'School vacations have just began, almost all their class was there - about 10 children, two or three parents and a teacher. 

Adults brought children to the cinema and left them to watch a movie while they were shopping. All the adults survived.' 


Mayhem at the mall: shopping centre chaos with 5 dead and dozens injured in devastating Kemerovo fire


Sergey Moskalenko, 11, pictured jumping for his life from an open window in the mall


A distraught mother said all five of her children were in the complex. She was reported saying 'she didn't know what happened to them'.

The mall included a petting zoo: all 200 animals are believed to have been killed. 

Director of the zoo, Evgeny Videman, said he expected all the pets had perished. 

'I think they were suffocated and died because I was the last to leave,' he said. 'There were no people left in the zoo.

'There was a strong smoke on the third floor, people were panicking on the side stairs. 

'I just closed the doors. It was physically impossible to get the animals out. I am a vet and I guess that the animals are already choked with smoke.'



Among the animals were rabbits, foxes, deer, wild pigs, goats, ferrets, meerkats, squirrels, hamsters and tortoises, in a children’s zoo inside the mall. 

Witnesses say there was no fire alarm. There was initially confused information on the death toll some reports saying three children and a woman had died. 

It was reported that up to 100 were injured. 

Earlier reports said children died from 'gas poisoning' in the mall.

'Four children corpses have been found in a nursery during the rescue operations," said the Russian Investigative Committee which probes serious crime. 

A criminal investigation has been launched. 

Fifteen fire teams including 60 firemen were at the scene of the accident. Two of the injured were hospitalised with fractures and the rest with smoke poisoning.

Some 1500 square metres of the mall was ablaze. 

Shopper Ivan managed to escape the fire with his daughter.

He said: 'I was on an indoor skating rink with children. A fire broke next to a children railway which is mere five metres from the rink. 

'I heard people running and then saw flames. 

‘I yelled "Evacuate!", grabbed my daughter who was still in her skates and rushed down one floor. 

‘On the second floor I helped her to get changed into shoes, and we ran outside.

'As we rushed out of the building, I saw a teenager falling out of a window. 

'There was no fire alarm, no automatic fire extinguishing. 

‘Doors on first floor which would have given exit on a street were locked.’

Comments (8)

Have you ever heard of automatic fire extinguishers? Has anyone read about the problem of locked doors and deaths in others countries (Providence, Rhode Island) a few years ago when 99 young people died? Has anyone in Kemerovo learned anything about fire prevention? Jeezh> you live in another century/world. Time to move on and make use of modern fire prevention technology. Perhaps a few well-deserved law suits will help with your decision-making. What's a child's life worth in Kemerovo? 2 million rubles? 10?
dr. phil, USA
02/04/2018 05:42
2
0
i feel for you this day, having been to your country multiple times, i like your country, but have great frustration with your leaders who have little compassion for its people, and little consideration for quality of construction. as an aside who cares about the petting zoo, it is irrelevant the loss of the animals
jason, minnesota
01/04/2018 18:42
0
0
It was and is a tragedy for all who lost their children, parents and grandparents. My thoughts go to you and to all who were hurt. Pray for you
Kjell, Norway
28/03/2018 18:36
3
1
Prayers for the Children and Families that died in the Fire on Sunday. My Heart Breaks for You
Edward Wilson, Salt Lake City, Utah. USA
27/03/2018 17:46
7
3
My heart aches for all of the lives lost in this tragedy. As a Father of 3 teen age Daughters, I can't imagine what the Parents of the lost children are feeling. Some say prayers are useless in these situations, yet sometimes, prayers are the only thing that can be offered. Human suffering does not know politics, we are all humans after all. So very sad for your losses.
Thomas, Saint George, Utah, United States
26/03/2018 21:49
9
3
but VERY important, all the documentation was in order... ( a standard /excuse/ in Russia). lets just hope the missing are safe and the death toll will not raise. though this might be a futile wish.
Benedikt MORAK, Moscow
26/03/2018 12:22
9
2
Oh very sad !! media in France show us this terrible fire.
Pensées pour les familles , pour les blessés .. We love you !
Jocelyne, FRANCE
26/03/2018 04:45
8
2
This is so sad & terrible to write any words today...so hopefully may the outcome be better than what it seems & may God intervene to help the parents get the best news from this tragedy. I pray for all concerned.
Jaker, Dundalk
26/03/2018 01:52
9
5
1

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