World shocked by Kemerovo mall tragedy

World shocked by Kemerovo mall tragedy

The international community has expressed condolences after the fire at a shopping mall in the Russian city of Kemerovo killed more than 60 people.

Russian President Vladimir Putin was one of the first to extend condolences.  "Vladimir Putin extends his sincere condolences to the families of those who died in the fire and wishes the soonest recovery to all those hurt," Putin’s press secretary Dmitry Peskov said.

The staff of the information-analytical agency Vestnik Kavkaza expresses their condolences to the family of those killed in this terrible fire and can't find the right words to describe their pain for the children, who died in the fire, as well as wishes the soonest recovery to the injured. 

Azerbaijani President Ilham Aliyev has sent a letter of condolences to Vladimir Putin.

"I was deeply saddened by the news of heavy casualties caused by a fire at a shopping mall in Kemerovo. I extend my deepest condolences to Vladimir Putin, families and loved ones of those who died and wish the injured the swiftest possible recovery," the statement posted on the website of the Azerbaijani President says.

President of Kazakhstan Nursultan Nazarbayev also sent a letter of condolences to Vladimir Putin over the deadly mall fire in Kemerovo, the Akorda press service reports.

"On behalf of the people of Kazakhstan and personally, I express words condolences and empathy to relatives and acquaintances of those killed. I wish fast recovery and homecoming to all the victims," the letter says.

The leaders of Kyrgyzstan, Uzbekistan and Armenia, Sooronbay Jeenbekov, Shavkat Mirziyoyev and Serzh Sargsyan, also offered condolences to the Russian president over the deadly fire.

Iranian Foreign Ministry spokesman Bahram Qasemi has sympathized with victims of fire at a shopping center. Qasemi expressed condolences to Russian people and government and bereaved families of the deadly incident.

Turkish Foreign Minister Mevlut Cavusoglu also expressed condolences over the deadly mall fire. "I would like to extend my condolences to the Russian nation and state. I wish patience to everyone, who lost their relatives in the blaze," Cavusoglu wrote on its Twitter account.

Serbian President Aleksandar Vucic sent a telegram with condolences and an offer to provide assistance to Vladimir Putin.

"Please accept my sincere condolences over the tragedy in Kemerovo where the awful fire claimed many lives. We were deeply shocked that many children were among those dead. Serbia, as a small country but a big friend, may provide any kind of assistance, we are ready to do what we can," the telegram said

Moldovan President Igor Dodon sent a telegram to Putin saying he was deeply saddened. "The report about the death of children in this terrible tragedy is especially regrettable."

Chinese Foreign Ministry Spokesperson Hua Chunying said that the people and government of China extend their deepest condolences over numerous deaths in the shopping mall fire.

Spokesperson for the US Embassy in Moscow Maria Olson also wrote on Twitter: "Terrible, terrible tragedy in Siberia. Our hearts go out to the victims and families."

Belgian Foreign Minister Didier Reynders also extended condolences over the tragedy on Twitter. "Very sad to hear the news of the deadly fire in #Kemerovo, #Russia. I express my sincere condolences to the relatives and friends of the victims."

The Organization for Security and Cooperation in Europe (OSCE) Representative on Freedom of the Media Harlem Desir tweeted: "Terrible news from #Kemerovo. My deepest condolences to the family and friends of the victims of the fire of the shopping center."

Austrian Chancellor Sebastian Kurz expressed his condolences over the tragedy. "My condolences to the families and friends of the victims of the terrible fire in the shopping mall in Kemerovo," the Austrian chancellor wrote on his Twitter account. "It is tragic that so many children are dead or missing," Chancellor Kurz stated. "I wish a speedy recovery to those injured."

Condolences also came from Latvian Foreign Minister Edgars Rinkevics and Riga Mayor Nils Usakovs.

The fire at the Zimnyaya Vishnya shopping mall in central Kemerovo erupted yesterday on the top floor of the four-storey building engulfing an area of some 1600 square meters. According to the latest data, 64 people were killed, many of them children, and 44 others sought medical assistance.