Over 40 people are reported to be injured and around 120 people had been evacuated from the burning centre, rescuers said. The number of missing people is 69 out of which nearly 40 missing are children. The shopping centre is located in Kemerovo which is about 3600 km from Russian capital of Moscow.
According to reports, the fire started around 1100 GMT on March 25 in one of the cinema halls on the upper floor of the Winter Cherry complex and destroyed more than 1,000 square metres of the centre. Besides a chain of cinema halls, the upper floor has a children zoo and restaurants.
More than 660 people are engaged in emergency response activities, as per reports.
Russian Emergencies Minister Vladimir Puchkov said that firefighters were not being able to reach the interiors of the mall due to high temperature.
“The firefighters and rescuers are working at the risk of their own lives… There is no access to certain rooms because of high temperatures,” the Minister quoted as saying to a news agency.
Kemerovo Region Governor Aman Tuleyev has said that bereaved families of people killed in the fire will receive a compensation of one million rubles (over $17,500).
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 alley, a children’s center, a cinema, food courts and a petting zoo, as per news report.