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Putin calls Kemerovo fire ‘criminal negligence’

Photo: AP/Sergei Gavrilenko

 

The fire which killed 64 people, many of them children, at a leisure complex was caused by “criminal negligence”, President Vladimir Putin has said, TASS reported.

“What is happening here?”, the Russian president said after laying a wreath at the scene. “This is no battle or an unexpected methane outburst in a mine.”

“People, children came to relax. We are talking about demography and are losing so many people because of what? Because of criminal negligence, sloppiness.”

He also offered his condolences to the families and friends of the victims, starting the meeting with a moment of silence.

A total of 64 people were killed in the fire that swept through the Winter Cherry shopping mall in Russia’s Kemerovo.

Five people have been arrested including the official suspected of deactivating the public address system.

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