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Insurance agencies estimate damage from Russian mall fire at $70 mln

The debris is being analyzed, and investigators are working on the site

MOSCOW, March 26. /TASS/. The All-Russian Union of Insurers estimated the damage caused by the catastrophic blaze that had engulfed the shopping mall in Kemerovo at 4 bln rubles ($70 mln). According to the head of the organization, Igor Yurgens, the damage to the building is estimated at 3 bln rubles ($52.7 mln) and to the tenants’ property is estimates at 1 bln rubles ($17.5 mln).

"At the moment, we are checking whether the shopping center was insured or not," Jurgens said. He also expressed condolences to the relatives of those who died in the tragedy.

Several of TASS’ insurance market sources believe that by the time the blaze struck the owners of the shopping mall might not have been insured.

The fire the engulfed the Zimnyaya Vishnya (or Winter Cherry) shopping mall in the Siberian city of Kemerovo occurred on March 25. The blaze started on the top floor of the four-story mall, covering an area of some 1,500 square meters. According to recent reports, the blaze took the lives of 64 people. Criminal charges are being filed.

By now, several insurance companies told TASS that the shopping mall’s tenants have begun to claim compensation for the losses cause by the fire.

The Reso-Garantia insurance company insured the property of the Detsky Mir retailer in that shopping mall. The retailer claimed losses to the tune of 41 mln rubles ($720,104). The company also insured other smaller tenants in that building, the company’s deputy head Igor Ivanov told TASS.

Ingosstrakh insured the property of several tenants in the shopping mall for a total sum of up to 10 mln rubles ($175,636), head of the company’s department for property risk insurance Sergei Sokolov said.

Renaissance Insurance received an application from one of its clients for 4.5 mln rubles ($79,036), the company’s executive Vice President Vladimir Tinyakov said.

Rosgosstrakh insured the goods and equipment of one of the stores in the mall for the sum of 2.2 mln rubles ($38,645), the insurer’s press service told TASS.

So far, the fire has been extinguished on the area of 1,500 square meters, the debris is being analyzed, and investigators are working on the site.