The Georgian top officials have offered their condolences to the Russian people over the fire on Sunday, claiming 64 people, 41 children among them, latest figures read.
Georgia saddened by Deadly Fire in Russia, killing 64 people
By Gvantsa Gabekhadze
Wednesday, March 28
According to the most recent data, a total of 64 people were killed in the fire and 60 were injured.
The bodies of 25 victims have already been identified, including 13 children.
“I would like to express my sorrow on the death of dozens of people, unfortunately including children, at a shopping mall fire in Kemerovo, Russia. I offer my sincere condolences and sympathies to the families and loved ones of the victims, and the Russian people,” Georgian PM Giorgi Kvirikashvili wrote on his Twitter account.
President Giorgi Margvelashvili also shortly released his statement over the tragedy.
“I am shocked with awful Kemerovo tragedy where people, many of them children horribly died. My sincere condolences to the families of victims,” Margvelashvili stated.
Interfax news agency reports that 85 people are still missing, most of them are children.
Some 300 people rallied outside the local government headquarters on Tuesday, demanding that officials be sacked over the fire safety shortcomings, BBC wrote.
The shopping centre, covering 23,000 sq m opened in 2013. It includes a petting zoo.
Blaze on March 25 started on an upper floor of the complex at about 17:00 local time.
President Vladimir Putin named “criminal negligence and carelessness” among the causes of the fire.
"What is happening here - this was not a combat situation, not an unexpected methane outburst in a mine. People came to rest, children. We talk about demographics and lose so many people because of what? Because of criminal negligence and carelessness," Putin said.
Short circuit was one of the main reasons of the shopping mall fire, the Investigative Committee head Alexander Bastrykin told Vladimir Putin on Tuesday.
“The automatic fire alarm system in the shopping mall which was the site of a deadly fire in Siberia hadn't worked since March 19. Staff at the mall not only neglected to repair it, but also failed to turn the system on manually,” Bastrykin said.
He also announced that a security guard at the shopping center did not switch the warning system on after the start of the fire, despite the fact that it could have been switched on manually.