17:06 GMT +314 August 2018
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    Fire at Zimnyaya Vishnya shopping mall in Kemerovo

    Kemerovo Court Rules to Arrest 5 Suspects for Deadly Shopping Mall Fire

    © Sputnik / Alexander Kryazhev
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    KEMEROVO (Russia) (Sputnik) - A district court in the Russian city of Kemerovo has ordered an arrest of five people over the deadly blaze in the Zimnyaya Vishnya ("Winter Cherry") shopping mall as Russia is mourning the 64 victims of the tragedy on Wednesday.

    The fire began on the top floor of the shopping mall on Sunday, when the center was packed with visitors, including many children. As of Wednesday, the bodies of 64 people have been found, while 14 people are hospitalized.

    Five People Arrested

    The initial stage of the investigation showed that the automated fire alarm system had not been working properly for a week by the time of the tragedy. A shopping mall security guard turned off the warning system.

    The five people detained by the court include the technical director of the company that owned the shopping mall building, the person who leased the space where the fire most likely started, two members of the company that was responsible for the alarm system maintenance, including its director, and a security guard who switched off the alert system.

    Russian billionaire Denis Shtengelov, who helped fund the construction of the shopping mall, is planning to return to Russia, the press service of his company Konditerus Kom told Sputnik, without providing the exact dates.

    The local authorities have warned that they are still looking into all requests from families and the number of victims might be revised up.

    Head of Russia's Investigative Committee Alexander Bastrykin will meet the families of the victims on Saturday and personally check how the investigation is moving forward.

    Mourning

    The first funerals were held on Wednesday: a 27-year-old Anton Mukhin and his five-year-old son Ratibor, 37-year-old foreign language teacher Tatiana Darsalia, Nadezhda Agarkova and her two grandchildren.

    Wednesday was declared the day of mourning in Russia. People in various cities across Russia have been coming to memorials, either spontaneous or organized by the local authorities, since Monday.

    Russia Mourns Kemerovo Mall Fire Victims
    © Sputnik / Uliana Solovyova
    In Kemerovo Region, a three-day mourning period was declared from Tuesday through Thursday. The flags are at half-mast on all administrative buildings, all entertainment events have been canceled.

    People in other countries have honored the memory of the victims as well: in Lithuania and Lebanon air balloons were launched into the sky, while in Greece, politicians, ministers and diplomats left notes in the book of condolences.

    Latvian Minister of the Interior Edgars Rinkevics visited the Russian Embassy in Riga and left a note in the book of condolences. In addition, Riga authorities want to send money to the families who lost their loved ones in the fire in Kemerovo, City Mayor Nils Usakovs said.

    The residents of Tiraspol in the self-proclaimed republic of Transnistria have been bringing flowers, candles and soft toys to the building of the Russian Consulate.

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    Tags:
    victims, suspects, fire, arrest, court, Zimnyaya Vishnya shopping mall, Kemerovo, Russia
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