Total of 64 Dead by Fire in Russian Kemerovo Region

At least 64 people have died in a massive fire at a shopping center in central Russia, while others remain unaccounted for, a Russian official confirmed Monday.

He is in a coma with multiple fractures - but it has since been revealed that his parents and sister are missing presumed dead.

Almost 16 others have been reported missing.

In particular, the matter concerns violations during the maintenance and installation of power grids in Zimnyaya Vishnya (The Winter Cherry) mall in Kemerovo.

Russia's Investigative Committee (ICR) in a statement said it had opened a criminal investigation into the cause of the fire.

Four people have been detained for questioning, including the head of the company that manages the shopping centre, according to the Investigative Committee. However, the Ghost Ship was an old warehouse that flew under the radar as an entertainment venue; Winter Cherry is a massive retail operation from which the city presumably draws considerable revenue.

Video footage from inside the mall after the fire broke out showed a group of people in a smoke-filled staircase trying to smash a fire exit door, which was jammed. The Emergencies Minister said firefighters and emergency services were risking their lives in the rescue efforts as the mall's infrastructure was severely damaged. It has a parking lot for 250 cars, shops, a bowling, a children's center, a cinema, and a petting zoo, according to the state news agency, Tass.

Dozens of children were feared to be among the dead. Six bodies have not yet been recovered, he said.

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However, it quoted Vladimir Chernov, the region's deputy governor, as saying on Sunday that the blaze had started when a child had set fire to the foam on a trampoline in a play area using a lighter.

Her aunt Evgenia said: "I told her: 'Vika, take off your clothes, cover your nose".

Reportedly, two teenagers started the fire when an employee of the centre saw them.

Regional officials declared three days of mourning.

An Instagram post from Kemerovo showed a big queue of volunteers waiting to donate blood at a clinic.

Health Minister Veronika Skvortsova said the most seriously injured survivor was an 11-year-old boy who jumped from the top floor to escape the fire, which killed all his family, but there were hopes for his survival.

But the president has yet to speak publicly about the tragedy, which has stirred anger in Kemerovo, a coal-producing region about 3,600 km (2,200 miles) east of Moscow.

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