A fire has broken out at a shopping mall in the Russian city of Kemerovo, killing at least 37 people and leaving more than 60 others missing, local officials say. Many of the victims are believed to be children.
The incident, which began at about 5 p.m. local time on Sunday, is believed to have started on the fourth floor of the Winter Cherry mall, which is home to a three-screen movie theater, a skating rink, and a play area for children.
Thick plumes of black smoke billowed from the complex and could be seen across the city. One man was seen jumping from a window on the fourth floor in an attempt to escape the blaze, but it was not immediately known if he survived the fall.
More than 660 rescue workers responded to the site and firefighters worked for hours to extinguish the blaze. High temperatures and the building’s instability are hampering the search and rescue operation, according to the emergencies ministry.
Local authorities said on early Monday that 37 people, including 9 children, were confirmed to have died, and 47 others have been injured. Sixty-four people, including 41 children between the ages of 2 and 17, have been reported missing.
The cause of Sunday’s fire was not immediately known.
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