MOSCOW — At least 37 people have died and dozens other missing in a fire in a shopping mall in the Siberian city of Kemerovo, Russian news agencies have reported, citing authorities.
State news agency TASS said 69 others were missing, many of them children, and more than 100 people had been evacuated from the complex, which contains cinemas, restaurants and shops.
Several hundred people, including many children, were in the mall at the time. Tragically, some reportedly had left their children unattended in one of the mall’s cinema halls or at the playground.
As rescuers continue to search the burned-out shopping mall, many have been frantically trying to reach their relatives, including children who were in the mall’s cinema or play area when the fire started.
TASS quoted firefighters as saying 40 of the missing were children, and 43 people were injured in the blaze. It also reported that 13 bodies were found in one of the movie theatres.
Some 37 people were killed in the blaze, the Russian Investigative Committee has confirmed. At least 11 children were among the victims.
Reports from witnesses have described panic as people realized there was a fire spreading, with many saying on social media that there were no fire alarms or loudspeaker warnings, and that people had to find their own way through the top floor of the mall, which was already filled with smoke.
Amid conflicting reports, some have described the source of the fire as the children’s playground, suggesting that the trampoline there caught fire after a child allegedly misused a lighter. Another version suggests that electrical wiring at the playground had short-circuited.
The fire, which broke out on Sunday afternoon, was finally contained some 12 hours later, after engulfing some 1,600 square meters. The building sustained severe damage, its roof and floors partially collapsing.Follow @gorkhapost
World’s oldest person dies at 117 in Japan
TOKYO — The world’s oldest person has died in southern Japan at the age of 117.
An official in the town of Kikai says Nabi Tajima died in a hospital on Saturday shortly before 8 p.m. She had been hospitalized since January.
Tajima was born on Aug. 4, 1900, and reportedly had more than 160 descendants, including great-great-great grandchildren. Her town of Kikai is in Kagoshima prefecture on Kyushu, the southernmost of Japan’s four main islands.
An official in the southern Japanese town of Kikai said Nabi Tajima died in a hospital on Saturday night. She had been
Her town of Kikai is in Kagoshima prefecture on Kyushu, the southernmost of Japan’s four main islands.
She became the world’s oldest person seven months ago after the death of Violet Brown in Jamaica, also at the age of 117.
Guinness World Records certified 112-year-old Masazo Nonaka of northern Japan as the world’s oldest man earlier this month, and was planning to recognise Ms Tajima as the world’s oldest person.Follow @gorkhapost