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Russian PM Medvedev orders health minister to set off to Kemerovo shopping mall fire site

Dmitry Medvedev has ordered to organize qualified assistance to all injured in the fire as well as to oversee their possbile transportation to hospitals in other cities

MOSCOW, March 26. /TASS/. Russian Prime Minister Dmitry Medvedev has ordered Health Minister Veronika Skvortsova to immediately set off to the Siberian city of Kemerovo, where a fire at a shopping mall killed up to 40 people, including children, prime minister’s spokeswoman Natalya Timakova said.

Timakova said the premier ordered Skvortsova to depart to the scene of the tragedy in order to organize qualified assistance to all injured in the fire as well as to oversee their possible transportation to hospitals in other cities.

Health Minister Skvortsova, Emergencies Minister Vladimir Puchkov and Deputy Prime Minister Olga Golodets earlier briefed Medvedev on the measures taken in regard to the fire at the shopping mall in Kemerovo, according to Timakova.

The fire at the Zimnyaya Vishnya (Winter Cherry) shopping mall in central Kemerovo erupted on Sunday on the top fourth floor engulfing an area of some 1,500 square meters.

According to the most recent information, 37 people were killed, including nine children, and over 40 were injured. More than 60 people are missing at the moment, including 41 children.

Twenty people were rescued from the blaze and about 100 were evacuated. The fire has been reported to be localized. A criminal investigation has been launched.

The shopping mall with an overall area of 23,000 square meters was opened in 2013. It has a parking lot for 250 cars, shops, a bowling, a children’s center, a cinema, and a petting zoo.