Up to 37 people have been killed and 69 remained unaccounted for after a fire broke out at a shopping mall in Siberia on Sunday (March 25), reports say.
A crisis centre set up after the blaze said 40 children were among the missing, according to Russia’s TASS news agency.
The deadly fire started inside a cinema, local media reported, citing eyewitnesses.
They added that 100 people had been evacuated from the mall in Kemerovo, a coal-mining centre located 3,600km east of Moscow.
Government officials said locked emergency exits and other safety issues complicated the evacuation.
Television pictures showed people leaping from windows of the building, which contained cinemas, restaurants and shops, as it was engulfed by black smoke.