This is terrible
Exits were blocked at Siberian mall where fire killed 64
As a fire spread through the Winter Cherry shopping mall in Kemerovo, Siberia, on Sunday, a security guard turned off the public address system and some people trying to escape couldn't open fire exits because they had been illegally blocked, Russian investigators announced Monday.
Authorities said at least 64 people died in the blaze, which swept through the upper levels of the mall, and 13 people remain hospitalized. The fire broke out near a movie theater and children's play area, and authorities are worried that dozens of kids are among the dead. This is the deadliest fire to take place in Russia since 2009, and officials said they believed most victims will have to be identified through DNA testing.
The cause remains unknown, but four people have been detained in connection with the fire, including two employees of the company that services the mall's fire alarm, Reuters reports. Authorities said they also want to interview the mall's owner and detain the security guard who turned off the public address system. In an interview with the Russian website Meduza, Alexander Lillevyali said his three young daughters were at the movies, and one called to say smoke was filling the theater and they couldn't escape because the doors were locked. The sisters all died in the fire.