MOSCOW (AP) — With the fire alarms silent and staff reportedly nowhere to be seen, a fire at a shopping mall packed with children and their parents on the first weekend of the school recess killed 64 people in eastern Russia.

The fire at the Winter Cherry mall in Kemerovo, a city in Siberia, about 1,900 miles east of Moscow, was extinguished by this morning after burning through the night. Firefighters were still recovering bodies as parts of the buildings were still smoldering. Some of the dead were found inside a cinema.

Sixty-four deaths were confirmed after the firefighters finished combing through the four floors of the mall, Emergency Situations Minister Vladimir Puchkov told a televised briefing. Six of the bodies have not yet been recovered. Puchkov would not immediately say how many of the victims were children.

Ten people have been hospitalized. Health Minister Veronika Skvortsova, who visited the Keremovo hospital where the victims were receiving treatment, said on Russian state television that the patient in the gravest condition is an 11-year-old boy who jumped out of a window from the fourth floor. The boy’s parents and younger brother died in the fire, Skvortsova said.

The Investigative Committee said it has detained four people for questioning, including one of the mall’s tenants, but would not immediately give the cause of the fire, which started on the top floor on Sunday evening. The investigators have launched a probe into possible negligence and violations of the fire safety rules.



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