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Kemerovo English teacher sacrifices her life to save kids from shopping mall inferno

March 28, 14:46 UTC+3 MOSCOW

Teacher Tatyana Darsaliya gave her life to save several children from the fire that engulfed the Zimnyaya Vishnya shopping mall in Kemerovo

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© Danil Aikin/TASS

MOSCOW, March 28. /TASS/. Teacher Tatyana Darsaliya gave her life to save several children from the fire that engulfed the Zimnyaya Vishnya shopping mall in the Siberian city of Kemerovo, the Russian Education Ministry said on Telegram on Wednesday.

"Russia’s Education Ministry conveys its condolences to the families and friends of the fire victims, we share Kemerovo’s grief. We must tell you the stories of people who rushed into the blaze to save others, without the slightest thought about their own safety. Tatyana Darsaliya, an English teacher from Kemerovo high school number 17, was one such person," the message reads.

Darsaliya managed to get her daughter out of the burning shopping center but then went back inside, knowing that there were children in need of help. "She was able to save several kids but did not make it out of the burning building herself. Another hero, who fortunately stayed alive, is 17-year-old Dmitry Polukhin, a cadet corps trainee. He led three children out of the burning shopping mall," the ministry said.

The young man had already gone down to the third floor when he heard a woman pleading with others to find her children. So Dmitry went back, stretched out his hands to feel his way to them and grabbed hold of the three kids, and then dragged them towards the exit.

Kemerovo mall fire catastrophe

A fire broke out on the top floor of the Zimnyaya Vishnya (or Winter Cherry), a four-story shopping mall in the Siberian city of Kemerovo on March 25, eventually engulfing an area of 1,500 square meters. According to recent reports, the catastrophic inferno claimed the lives of 64 people, including 41 children.

According to President Vladimir Putin’s decree, Russia is observing a day of national mourning on March 28. Flags are flying at half mast, and all entertainment events have been cancelled across the region.

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