Shopping centre fire kills at least 53 in Russia

At least 53 people have died and 16 are missing after a fire ripped through a busy shopping centre in western Siberia.

Pictures broadcast on Russian television showed people leaping from the windows of the Winter Cherry mall, which was engulfed in black smoke.

The blaze erupted on the top floor of the four-storey shopping centre near a cinema complex and children’s play area, in the industrial coal-mining city of Kemerovo, situated 3,600km (2,200 miles) east of Moscow, on Sunday afternoon.

Children are thought to be among the dead, local news agencies said.

The shopping centre, which also contains restaurants and shops, was evacuated when the fire was first spotted with some 120 people fleeing for their lives.

Around 300 firefighters tackled the blaze – the cause of which is not yet known and is being investigated.

Some witnesses claimed the shopping centre also contained a zoo with domestic animals, including goats and cats.

As well as shops, the centre contains a cinema and restaurants

It is not known if any animals died in the blaze.

More than 1,000 square metres of the centre is thought to have been destroyed. The roofs of two cinema screens also collapsed during the blaze.

Source Sky News