Harrowing drone footage captures deadly inferno at Russian mall (VIDEO)
The disaster struck the packed shopping and entertainment complex in Kemerovo at around 4 pm local time on Sunday. A popular venue full of restaurants, cinemas, a sauna and a children’s zoo, quickly turned into an inferno after the fire started on an upper floor where families with children were watching the latest blockbusters.
The fire spread so quickly that many of the victims found it impossible to escape through thick toxic smoke engulfing the building, the drone footage, captured at the height of the fire, showed. Ash from the disaster scene covered entire neighborhoods of the city.
It took firefighters hours to localize the raging fire, which was reduced to some 1,600 square meters only by midnight. Unfortunately, not everyone made it out alive. Some shocking videos posted on social media showed people jumping from windows to escape the flames as smoke billowed from windows.
“There are victims. People broke windows and jumped from there,” one lucky survivor named Ekaterina told Ruptly’s RT video agency.
At least 64 people have been confirmed dead as a result of the blaze. The number may rise, the Interior Ministry said.
Rescuers continue to work at the burnt-out mall, where the fire was extinguished on Sunday night but re-started on Monday. During the rescue operation on Sunday, firefighters managed to save some 20 people, and helped to evacuate around 100 others.
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