Recently, a tragic fire started and quickly it grew out of control. Located in the Siberian city of Kemerovo, a shopping mall known as Zimnyaya Vishnya (Winter Cherry) burned down and with it, the lives of 64 people, 41 of them being children were lost. Protesters have taken to the streets, angered at the administration and handling of the entire situation.
Even President Vladimir Putin arrived on the scene, blaming “criminal negligence” for Sunday’s blazing burn down. This didn’t seem to help his cause, as there were thousands of people rallying outside local government headquarters chanting “Putin resign!”. Putin didn’t respond to the crowd or speak publicly about it. People also were calling for the resignation of local fire officials, who failed to inspect this building properly.
A Regional Deputy Governor named Sergei Tsivilev, got down on his knees, pleading and begging for forgiveness, and afterward was applauded by the crowd that gathered.
A number of investigators, are still trying to piece together clues of what exactly happened. What they do know is, that the fire alarm system was switched off and the exits were all blocked. To date, there have been four different people who have been charged and deemed responsible for this horrifying accident. Among these four, another private security firm guard will be charged soon by Russia’s Investigative Committee.
It is suspected that more have died or have been seriously injured, as rubble remains are still being removed from the scene. A number of family, friends and relatives have stated that there are dozens of people still missing since Sunday when the accident took place. Many of them are children who were in a theatre section. It is here, where an ice rink, fitness club, bar and billiards area was located on the top 4th floor.
One person stated, ‘I lost my entire family in the Kemerovo fire’. Some believe there may even be more who died or were seriously injured on Sunday. Details are still being released about the incident. Some of the bodies were burned so badly, that it will proof difficult to conduct further DNA testing.
It is still too early, to release the names of those who lost their lives on that day. With the community and those who died, this day will be marked in remembrance and a tragic reminder that things such as these, can happen in the mere blink of any eye.