"According to the preliminary data, four children have died as result of gas poisoning after a fire occurred in 'Winter Cherry' shopping center in Kemerovo," a source told Sputnik.
The police have encircled the area of the incident, evacuating people and nearby cars. According to the recent data, 100 people have left the building.
WARNING: GRAPHIC CONTENT
В Кемерово загорелся ТЦ, в котором были детские аттракционы. Два этажа охвачены огнем. Местные СМИ сообщают о 8 погибших детях и 3 взрослых.— Командир Полка (@kompolk) 25 марта 2018 г.
Люди прыгают из окон pic.twitter.com/xMCmJ7hiwL
The emergency service has reported that it has deployed 15 fire teams, including 60 firemen to the scene of the accident.
At the same time, Russia's Investigative Committee said that it had launched a criminal investigation into the case, adding that it's looking into a certain number of victims.
"Four children corpses have been found in a nursery during the rescue operations," the committee said.
Later on, the committee updated the information, saying that total of three children and one woman had died, while 26 people had been injured as result of a fire in a shopping center in Russia's city of Kemerovo.
"According to preliminary data, four people died including three children and a woman, who were in the children's playroom when the fire erupted, and 26 people requested medical assistance or were sent to hospitals. At the same time, emergency services continue to combat fire and rescue people," spokeswoman for the Russian Investigative Committee Svetlana Petrenko said.
At the same time, head of the city's fire department Sergei Yakovlev said that the fire spreaded via a flammable thermal insulation that made it difficult to extinguish the fire.
Following the incident, local authorities declared the emergency situation regime.
Meanwhile, a source told Sputnik that at least 17 people have been missing. Kemerovo citizens have turned to social networks to find the missing people.
According to the recent data, five people, including one child, three women and one man have died, while 30 evacuees have been sent to a hospital.
"According to updated information, five people died, including three women, a child and a man. A total of 32 people requested medical assistance, 30 of them were hospitalized," the statement said.
After the Fire
Addressing the incident later in the day, Kremlin spokesman Dmitry Peskov stated that Russian President Vladimir Putin received reports from Russian Emergencies Minister Vladimir Puchkov and Kemerovo Region Governor Aman Tuleyev about the situation with the fire.
"The president has been informed about the tragedy in the Kemerovo Region. Vladimir Putin extends his heartfelt condolences to the families and friends of the victims and wishes a speedy recovery for the injured. All detailed information about the incident was provided to the president in the reports of Emergencies Minister Vladimir Puchkov and region's Governor Aman Tuleyev," Peskov said.
The president instructed the emergencies minister to immediately depart to the site of the tragedy and take all necessary measures to properly mobilize the forces, the spokesman noted.
"Additional units of the Emergencies Ministry, including necessary robotics, unmanned aerial vehicles and other equipment, will be mobilized from Krasnoyarsk and Moscow," he added.
Putin also gave the necessary instructions to help the families of the victims and provide them with medical care and everything necessary, Peskov said.