KEMEROVO (Sputnik) – The fire alarm system in the burned shopping center in Kemerovo has been out of order since March 19, however, nobody has been engaged in its repair, Russia’s Investigative Committee head Alexander Bastrykin said on Tuesday.
“Since March 19, the fire alarm system has been out of order, but nobody has been engaged in this problem,” Bastrykin said at a meeting on elimination of consequences of the tragedy held by Russian President Vladimir Putin.
Bastrykin added that a security guard of the shopping center did not switch on the warning system after the start of the fire, despite the fact that it was operational.
“We cannot give any reasonable explanation to this,” Bastrykin added.
Protests have erupted against actions taken at the Winter Cherry shopping centre before and after the fire that killed at least 64 people.
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No Fire Extinguishers
One of the employees told Lenta.ru that in the shopping center there were no fire extinguishers.
“I worked for six months and did not see fire extinguishers. When everything happened, there was no fire alarm. A month ago we had a training evacuation. They turned on the fire alarm, it was very well audible, it signaled quite a long time. I do not know why this time it did not work,” he said.
According to him, the fire spread too quickly over the foam rubber balls and trampolines in the children game rooms, the room was instantly filled with smoke, and it was impossible to see anything. The man brought a colleague and child “on muscular memory” to the stairs to the third floor, then went back to help other children, stuck in the game complex. He was assisted by other employees of the center.
Russian Regions Declare Mourning Day
Despite the fact that the mourning had been declared only in the Kemerovo region, other Russian regions have joined the mourning over the tragedy.
The authorities of the Ryazan region announced March 27 a day of mourning in connection with the tragedy in Kemerovo.
The head of Ingushetia, Yunus-Bek Yevkurov, said that “for the next three days all entertainment and TV programs will be canceled in the republican and local television.”
Earlier in the day, Vladimir Putin have arrived in Kemerovo and laid flowers near the Zimnyaya Vishnya (“Winter Cherry”) shopping center, in memory of the victims of Sunday’s deadly fire.
On Sunday, the major fire broke out in the Zimnyaya Vishnya (“Winter Cherry”) shopping center in Kemerovo. Russian Emergencies Minister Vladimir Puchkov said that a total of 64 people had been killed in the tragic incident.