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Russian Investigative Committee to inspect work of firefighters during Kemerovo mall fire

March 31, 16:20 UTC+3 MOSCOW

The Russian Ministry of Emergency Situations told TASS that the shopping mall in Kemerovo was recognized as a dilapidated building after the results of the survey

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MOSCOW, March 31. /TASS/. Head of Russian Investigative Committee Alexander Bastrykin instructed investigators to analyze the work of firefighters during a fire in a shopping mall in Kemerovo at the request of the relatives of victims, according to the Committee’s official representative Svetlana Petrenko.

"Following requests, Alexander Bastrykin gave a number of specific instructions to the investigation team to thoroughly analyze all information received from the relatives of the victims. In particular, claims to the work of emergency services," Petrenko said.

The Russian Ministry of Emergency Situations told TASS that the shopping mall in Kemerovo was recognized as a dilapidated building after the results of the survey.

Earlier the Central District Court of Kemerovo detained former Head of the region’s building inspection office Tanziliya Komkova for a month and 25 days. According to the Investigative Committee, she was supposed to take measures to ban the operation of the unwarranted construction - the shopping mall building.

At the same time, Alexander Bastrykin said that detention of new defendants in the criminal case on the fire in Kemerovo shopping mall is possible. "The investigation will not be limited to those detentions that have already taken place - the number of people will increase," Bastrykin said. He added that all the versions of what caused the fire, including those voiced in the mass media, are being checked.

According to Bastrykin, "the investigation is carried out by the most competent specialists, the work of the investigation team is conducted around the clock, all with the aim of establishing everyone whose criminal action or inaction has led to human casualties."

It was reported earlier that several versions of what caused the fire were under consideration, including a short circuit and arson. Seven people are defendants in the criminal case.

Families of 59 people who died in the fire in the shopping center received financial aid from the federal budget. "At the moment, payments in the amount of 1 mln rubles ($17,482) from the federal budget were allocated to the families of 59 victims of the fire," the Russian Ministry of Emergency Situations told TASS.

The fire started on the top floor of the four-storey Zimnyaya Vishnya (or Winter Cherry) shopping mall on March 25. A total of 64 people were killed in the fire, including 41 children, 79 people were injured, including 27 children.

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