Putin arrives in Kemerovo to honor memory of fire victims

Putin arrives in Kemerovo to honor memory of fire victims

Russian President Vladimir Putin arrived in Kemerovo, where a fire broke out on March 25 in the Zimnyaya Vishnya shopping mall taking lives of more than 60 people. Three days of mourning were declared in the region starting from March 27.

Putin laid flowers to the spontaneous memorial near the building, where people bring flowers, stuffed toys and photographs of the victims. He and the Presidential Plenipotentiary Envoy to Siberian Federal District Sergei Menyailo inspected the facade of the burnt down building.

President Putin named criminal negligence and carelessness among the causes of the tragedy. "What is happening here - this was not a combat situation, not an unexpected methane outburst in a mine. People came to rest, children. We talk about demographics and lose so many people because of what? Because of criminal negligence and carelessness," TASS cited him as saying.

He also offered his condolences to the families and friends of the victims, starting the meeting with a moment of silence.

The fire started on the top floor of the four-storey Zimnyaya Vishnya (or Winter Cherry) shopping mall on March 25, engulfing an area of some 1500 square meters. According to the most recent data, a total of 64 people were killed in the fire, 60 injured were treated in hospitals, 15 of them were hospitalized and 40 received outpatient care. The bodies of 25 victims have already been identified.