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Emergencies Ministry: Short circuit could have caused Kemerovo shopping mall deadly fire

The lamp may be the true cause, according the ministry

MOSCOW, April 17. /TASS/. A short circuit could have been the cause of a recent deadly fire at the Zimnyaya Vishnya shopping mall in Kemerovo, Chief State Inspector for Fire Safety at Russia’s Emergencies Ministry Rinat Yenikeyev said at a press conference hosted by TASS on Tuesday.

"In our opinion, we are dealing with a short circuit and an overload of the current-carrying parts of a lamp. We do not know what had its impact but the root is there. The lamp may be the true cause," the chief inspector said.

This light-emitting diode lamp had a diffuser that melted and its fireball drops began to fall down, sinking into a foam-filled play area, he said.

"Moreover, there is information, including eye-witnesses’ testimony, and our inquiry officers are assisting preliminary investigation bodies, that water was dripping as a result of snow melting," Yenikeyev explained.

The true cause of the fire will be established by Russia’s Investigative Committee as part of the ongoing investigation and expert study, the chief inspector said.

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. The catastrophic inferno claimed the lives of 64 people, including 41 children.