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Tragedy as dozens of children among dead in shopping mall inferno in black day for Siberia

By The Siberian Times reporter
26 March 2018

Charred corpses removed from wreckage in Kemerovo with evidence that victims were trapped inside by locked fire doors.

The latest death tall is 64 with 38 injuired 

Dozens of children were missing feared dead today in the appalling shopping mall fire in Siberia’s Kemerovo region.

The latest official death toll was 64 with 38 injured - and many still unaccounted for. 

Sources in the emergency services indicate that 96 bodies have been found - many of them children - although the number was not officially confirmed. 

They also made clear 30 bodies were found in one cinema, and 37 in another. 

Two of three cinemas “collapsed” from the fourth to the third floors in the fire.

The mall - a converted Soviet-era confectionary factory - was described as a “labyrinth” with few windows, one main staircase, one lift shaft and one escalator.

Tragedy as dozens of children among dead in shopping mall inferno in black day for Siberia


Tragedy as dozens of children among dead in shopping mall inferno in black day for Siberia


Tragedy as dozens of children among dead in shopping mall inferno in black day for Siberia

Pictures emerged of the missing children with little hope that any will be found alive in the carnage of the shopping centre as firefighters struggled to reach the worst-hit areas. 

A video showed the panic at the start of the tragedy with parents screaming for their children and others shouting ‘fire, fire’. 

Another highlighted fire doors locked and people unable to escape. 

An 11 year old boy Sergei Moskalenko is in a coma after jumping from a blazing window - a fall seen on video as he hit an awning - and it was confirmed this morning that his parents died in the fire. 

The fire was still burning this morning - and the structure in danger of collapse - preventing rescuers and firefighters reaching aa badly hit cinema where many children had been watching a film.  

One girl, Maria Moroz, 13, messaged from the cinema: “We are on fire".

A relative replied then she said:  “Looks like this is farewell from me.”

She is feared dead. 

Early Monday morning drone video of the shopping mall

Among the missing are eight girls from one class in Treschevsky village - all 11 or 12 years old - named as: Viktoria Pochankina, Veronika Ponushkova, Elena Chernikova, Tatiana Kurchevskaya, Sergey Maneshkin, Viktoria Zipunova, Anastasia Smirnova, Diana Nizovskaya.

In a heartrending final phone call Viktoria ‘Vika’ Pochankina  told her aunt: “Everything is burning, the doors are blocked. I can’t go out, I can’t breath.’

Her aunt Evgenia said: “I told her: 'Vika, take off your clothes, cover your nose’. 

She told me: 'Auntie, tell all my family I love them. Tell mum that I loved her…'

The call ended. 

Evgenia added: “The school vacations have just begun and almost all their class was there - about 10 people. Two or three parents and a teacher. 

“The teacher left the kids in the cinema and went with parents in  the shopping mall. So all the adults survived.”

People filmed trying to break out of the shopping mall as fire gets close 

A Kemerovo high school teacher Tatiana Darsalia's body was the first to be identified. 

She had brought her class to the shopping mall.

Owner of the shopping mall Nadezhda Suddenok was detained for questioning.

The official in charge of fire safety and a senior manager were also held. 

Local governor Aman Tuleev  said he had lost an 11 year old relative in the fire. 

“I feel it very close, because my very close relative died there, a girl,” he said. 

https://youtu.be/Zcdz5YONe2g


Tragedy as dozens of children among dead in shopping mall inferno in black day for Siberia


Tragedy as dozens of children among dead in shopping mall inferno in black day for Siberia

A mother Yulia was in the play area of the Winter Cherry mall with her three children and her own mother.

She said: “The fire began on the 4th level, bouncy castles caught fire. 

“It all was happening right in front of my eyes, I was sitting at the sofa opposite the play zone. 

“The fire was grew within seconds, smoke covered all around. 

“It was a miracle that we survived. 

“I ran to look for my children, when I gathered all of them, everything was in smoke. 

“I lost a sight of my mother… Luckily, I met her downstairs”. 

Igor, a boy, said: “I was watching a movie with my seven year old sister. Suddenly the door opened and a woman shouted – fire! 

“Clouds of smoke appeared in a second, I grabbed my sister and we ran downstairs. 

“The crowd was terrible there, I could see nothing.

“It took us five minutes to run out. My hands are still trembling, what if that woman did not come in and shout…?”

One woman, Ekaterina said: “I was with my husband on the third floor in a furniture shop. 

“Suddenly the ceiling began to crack, first in one place, then everywhere.

“We thought it would collapse on our heads in some seconds. Everyone rushed out including shop assistants, up to 50 people got in one lift. 

“People were jumping on each other on the escalator. 

“Men were running ahead of women… and on the ground floor all were just standing and watching our rush, nobody was in a hurry. 

“Many people got outside without coats, many were from fitness centre and spa, in flip flops and covered in towels… 

“Some people looted TV sets.”

Tragedy as dozens of children among dead in shopping mall inferno in black day for Siberia

One secunity guard said lighted candles were on a table in the play area for a celebration moments before the fire started. 

Another said: “People were panicking. The elevators were working. 

“Fire alarm did not work at all. There was no water, no fire alarm. 

“They came to test it not long ago, I remember. And I know that lifts should have been blocked, but they were working, so it was a total failure. 

“All were shouting and running. I went to rescue the children. I was just grabbing them and taking out. I don’t know how many, 10, 15, I was just running here and there while it was possible to breath.”

Russian emergencies minister Vladimir Puchkov said:

"Firefighters and rescuers are risking their lives and health working inside the facility due to its unstable structure and heavy smoke contamination.

"There is no access to a number of areas due to extremely high temperatures.”

His deputy Vladlen Aksyonov said: “The floor decks are giving in and there is a threat of them collapsing.”

Comments (11)

Toutes mes condoleances
Pensees aux victimes innocentes..
Toutes notre sympahtie a vous
Salz, France
28/03/2018 02:58
1
0
让人痛心!防火阻燃材料和警报灭火设备的检查看来有些流于形式,但愿能加强改进!
姚剑申, 巨鹿/中国
27/03/2018 21:15
1
0
Heart felt condolences, to the good people of Kemerovo.
Your kind help while travelling through your town will never be forgotten.
RIP
Joe, Korea
27/03/2018 14:53
1
0
My heart is broken and I cannot stop weeping for all the beautiful children, adults and families whose loved ones have been lost or injured in this horrible tragedy. There are no words adequate to comfort any one whose lives have been shattered. I can only send thoughts of love. Too often we hear of stories like this where carelessness and greed end in tragedy. We must all strive to do a better job of protecting the lives and safety of one another. No amount of money is worth the life of even one precious child.
Jerry Mosbarger, Colorado, USA
27/03/2018 08:50
4
0
Sincèrement désolé, nous sommes avec vous dans nos pensées.
Michel Mercier, Québec, Canada
27/03/2018 08:01
2
0
I so sorry for all the families that loss there families in this terrible thing that happened
Kirsten Lund , Duncan BC Canada
27/03/2018 06:19
1
0
So sorry to hear about the tragic news and the terrible impact on families in Kemerovo.
I have been to Siberia and Moscow and found the Russian people to be very warm and generous.
This incident rises above any politics in evidence elsewhere.
Our thoughts are with you.
Paul , Manchester, UK
27/03/2018 01:10
7
0
Sincere condolences for those who lost loved ones, and speedy healing for the survivors and all involved.
Robert Baker, Masset / Canada
27/03/2018 01:04
4
0
my sympathy and condolences to the families and friends of the people who lost their lives in the fire. and let's hope that the OWNER of the building, who is at the moment not in Russia, will be held responsible for his deeds. never mind where he is and how deep he will eb hiding.
Benedikt MORAK, Moscow
27/03/2018 00:25
4
0
toutes mes sincères condoléances - I wish to share all my sympathy with the numerous victims and their families.
francois, Montpellier, France
26/03/2018 19:11
6
0
Terrible.Cariño y afecto para los familiares en su dolor.
Controlar plásticos y pinturas inflamables.Es un problema que se repite demasiado.El diseño arquitectónico tambien ayuda.Con pesar.
jerico, Spain
26/03/2018 16:34
5
1
1

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