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Investigators demand arrest of suspects in Kemerovo shopping mall fire tragedy

March 27, 14:44 UTC+3 MOSCOW

Five suspects have been detained in connection with the case

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© Russian Ministry for Emergency Situations photo via AP

MOSCOW, March 27. /TASS/. Russian investigators call to arrest suspects as part of a criminal investigation launched into the shopping mall fire tragedy in the Siberian city of Kemerovo, Russia’s Investigative Committee said on Tuesday.

"Soon they will be taken to the court that will decide on choosing the measure of restraint," the IC said.

Five suspects have been detained in connection with the case. Charges against them have been brought.

Among the suspects is technical director of the company owning the building, the tenant of a facility where the fire allegedly started, an employee and the head of an organization servicing the fire alarm system, and a security guard who allegedly switched off the alarm system when the fire broke out.

The catastrophic blaze the engulfed the Zimnyaya Vishnya (or Winter Cherry) shopping mall in the Siberian city of Kemerovo occurred on March 25. The conflagration started on the top floor of the four-story mall, covering an area of some 1,500 square meters. According to recent reports, the ensuing inferno took the lives of 64 people, including 41 children. More than 60 others have sought medical assistance, and 15 of them are in hospital. Some 25 bodies, including of 13 children, have been identified.

Kemerovo has declared March 27-29 as a three-day mourning period. Flags will fly at half-mast in the towns and villages and all entertainment events will be canceled.

A criminal investigation has been launched into the infliction of death by negligence, the fire safety rules violation, and the provision of services failing to meet safety requirements.

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