MOSCOW, April 2. /TASS/. Russian Emergencies Minister Vladimir Puchkov has reported that he apologized to the parents of the children who had died in the blaze in the Zimnyaya Vishnya (Winter Cherry) shopping mall in Kemerovo.
"I apologized to the parents of the boys and girls whom we failed to save. This is a horrible tragedy, and it should serve as a lesson to us," the minister said at a teleconference in the Russian Emergencies Ministry.
He noted that the Emergencies Ministry units worked together with employees of the Interior Ministry, the Health Ministry and the Investigative Committee. "This was a fight (with the fire) in the most difficult conditions. The losses are heavy; people died. But the most horrible is when children die," the minister stressed.
A fire broke out in the Zimnyaya Vishnya (Winter Cherry) shopping mall in the Siberian city of Kemerovo, killing 64 people, including 41 children, and injuring 79 people, with 27 children among them.
Several versions are being investigated, including short-circuit failure and arson. Seven people are defendants in the criminal case.