The President of the Russian Federation Vladimir Putin has arrived early today in the town of Kemerovo, where on March 25 a fire broke out in the Winter Cherry Mall. He honored the memory of the victims, as well as visited the injured in hospitals and wished them fast recovery.
The Russian Emergencies Minister Vladimir Puchkov reported on progress of search operation and firefighting operation to Vladimir Putin. He pointed out that the roof and the floors of the third and fourth floors collapsed, and the fire covered up to 1,600 square metres in just minutes. “Within seven minutes, firefighting units arrived at the site, as well as ambulances and the police, who immediately started providing assistance to people. Twenty people were brought down from the upper floors with the use of firefighting equipment; over 700 people were evacuated from the shopping mall”, said the Minister.
He also added that task force was immediately reinforced. “The work was organised in four sections. We simultaneously conducted search and rescue and fire extinguishing measures because in some areas the temperature reached 600 degrees, there was heavy smoke, the structures were unstable and there was practically zero visibility”, added the Minister Puchkov.
Vladimir Puchkov also said that “in 2016, an Emergencies Ministry commission arrived to inspect the premises. Documents were presented indicating that it is a small business with the annual turnover of 68 million rubles. The number of people employed was under 100”. Also, recommendations were given that were not followed on, unfortunately.
Vladimir Puchkov reported that assistance was rendered to 129 people during the search and rescue operation. “Unfortunately, 64 people died. By now we have recovered 58 bodies and keep searching for six persons who according to their relatives’, could have been in the shopping mall”, he added. At present the task force comprises a total of 800 personnel, 195 units of equipment.
“Yesterday the Government of the Russian Federation made a decision, the Government signed an order allocating 76 million rubles. Each victim’s family will get 1 million rubles, the people who sustained minor injuries will get 200,000 rubles, and those with medium or grave injuries will get 400,000 rubles”, concluded Vladimir Puchkov.
Based on materials provided by www.kremlin.ru