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Kemerovo court arrests shopping mall security guard

March 28, 15:53 UTC+3

Sergei Antyushin earlier told reporters that the fire alarm button had been out of order, while he had reported the malfunction to his seniors

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KEMEROVO, March 28. /TASS/. Kemerovo’s Zavodskoi District Court has arrested private security company guard Sergei Antyushin, whom investigators believe to have failed to turn on the fire alarm when a fire began in the Zimnyaya Vishnya shopping mall on March 25, a TASS correspondent reported from the courtroom.

"He is hereby arrested for one month and 29 days, until May 25, 2018," Judge Irina Masalitina said.

Antyuhsin earlier told reporters that the fire alarm button had been out of order, while he had reported the malfunction to his seniors.

The court earlier arrested Nadezhda Suddenok, a shopping mall lessee.

Apart from Antyushin and Suddenok, three people were detained, including Georgy Sobolev (the technical director of the shopping mall’s owner company), Alexander Nikitin and Igor Polozinenko (an employee and the head of the company that maintained the mall’s fire alarm). The Investigative Committee requested they all be arrested.

A criminal investigation has been launched into negligent homicide, fire safety rules violations resulting in the death of two or more persons and the provision of services failing to meet safety requirements.

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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