Russia mall fire

This item appears on page 18 of the May 2018 issue.

A fire in a shopping mall in the Russian Siberian city of Kemerovo killed at least 64 people, 41 of them children, on March 25. As of press time, up to 67 other people were still missing.

Local authorities said that the fire began in a trampoline room on the building’s top floor and may have involved candles lit at a child’s party. However, the Russian government said that an electrical fault was the cause. At the time of the fire, the building’s fire alarms were not operational and many exits were locked or otherwise blocked.

After the fire, thousands of people protested in Kemerovo’s main square demanding that local officials, and even Russian president Vladimir Putin, resign over the incident. Protests were ongoing as of press time.