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Russian Federation calls off search for victims of mall fire
29 March 2018, 01:27 | Tara Lloyd
Russian demonstrators calls for investigation into shopping mall fire that killed at least 64 people
"In two or three minutes, such smoke had risen up".
Russian Federation on Wednesday began a national day of mourning and held the first funerals for the victims of a fire that ravaged a busy shopping centre in Siberia and killed 64 people, majority children.
Relatives of victims say they have compiled a list of 85 people, majority children, who are still missing. The investigators have released 21 bodies for burial.
It comes amid widespread public anger at the blatant safety violations at the mall where children were trapped in a locked cinema and the fire alarm system was broken. Earlier, he told press that the alarm was out of order. Five persons have been detained in connection with the case.
Putin, comfortably re-elected only this month, laid flowers at a memorial to the victims in the coal-producing region, about 3,600 km east of Moscow, before chairing a meeting and declaring Wednesday a national day of mourning.
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Meanwhile, Putin termed the mall as "criminal negligence".
"Vova and Aman to prison!" read another banner, referring to Putin and the local governor.
"For a long time there was a high temperature in the building, many bodies literally turned to ashes", the spokesman said. The UK blames Russian Federation for the attack on the spy; the Kremlin has denied any involvement.
The youngest victim according to an official list published by Kemerovo authorities was a two-year-old boy, while at least 19 of the 64 people killed were under 10.
Following the fire, the country's General Prosecutor's Office launched inspections of shopping centers across the country, aimed to check the their fire safety. Some of the victims died in a locked movie theater.
Senior regional official Vladimir Chernov said the fire may have started in the children's trampoline room. The crowd broke through one narrow door.
A man who lost his daughter in the blaze said he told her over the phone to lie down on the floor and breathe, but she kept saying she loved him. "I'm suffocating, I'm fainting'".
Television channels on Wednesday broadcast with a black ribbon on the screen or a message "Kemerovo - we mourn", while Orthodox Christian channel Spas aired a show called "Kemerovo: what can our prayers do?"
One fifth-grade student, Maria Moroz, posted: "We're burning".
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