KEMEROVO, March 27. /TASS/. Fire alarm in the Zimnyaya Vishnya (or Winter Cherry) shopping mall in the Siberian city of Kemerovo, which burned down on Sunday, remained out of service since March 19, Russian Investigative Committee Chairman Alexander Bastrykin said at a meeting on dealing with the fire aftermath chaired by President Vladimir Putin.
"Fire alarm was out of service since March 19, and nobody was tackling the issue," Bastrykin said.
He added that one of the shopping mall’s security guards had failed to promptly turn the voice alert system on.
"We can’t provide a reasonable explanation, he just seems to be untrained," the Investigative Committee chief said.
DNA examination of the bodies might take up to two weeks, Bastrykin said. "37 victims require genetic examination, it will take up to two weeks," he said.
Permissions to receive the bodies of 21 people were given to relatives for burial, the Russian Investigative Committee told TASS on Tuesday.
"According to the results of the identification procedure, the investigators gave permission to relatives of 21 victims who died in a fire in Kemerovo shopping mall fire to receive bodies for burial," the department said. To date, 25 people have been identified.
The fire started on the top floor of the four-storey Zimnyaya Vishnya (or Winter Cherry) shopping mall on March 25, engulfing an area of some 1,500 square meters. According to the most recent data, a total of 64 people were killed in the fire, 60 injured were treated in hospitals, 15 of them were hospitalized and 40 received outpatient care. The bodies of 25 victims have already been identified, including 13 children.