The flags flew at half mast over City Hall in Perm in memory of those who died in the nightclub fire. Friends and families gathered inside in search of any information.
As daylight came, emergency workers were still faced with the human cost of a night out that turned to tragedy. One eyewitness who was in the club said: “It happened in seconds. We barely made it to the door, and there was only one, so we couldn’t all get through. Everyone was pushing from all sides.” A resident said: “It’s clearly a violation of fire safety. It’s everywhere. It’s a tragedy. They all talk but do nothing.” Another woman asked: “How could they have fireworks indoors?” The Russian President Dmitry Medvedev designated Monday as a day of mourning. He said that the tragedy could not qualify as anything other than a crime. The president promised all the help Russia could give to the survivors, including free plastic surgery at the best emergency hospitals in Moscow and other cities, and flights to get them there. Police have arrested the club’s owner and a manager.