Siberian governor resigns after devastating mall fire that killed 64

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By Associated Press  with NBC News World News
Image: Fire in Kemerovo shopping center
Smoke raises over a shopping center Zimnaya Vishnya in the West Siberian city of Kemerovo, Russia, early March 26, 2018. At least 56 people reportedly died, including many children and around 60 are still lost.   -   Copyright  Alexander Patrin

MOSCOW — The Kremlin says the governor of the Siberian region where a shopping center fire killed 64 people has resigned.

The statement Sunday said Aman Tuleyev had offered his resignation and that it was accepted by President Vladimir Putin. Tuleyev had headed the Kemerovo region for more than 20 years.

A March 25 fire at a four-story shopping mall in the regional capital, also called Kemerovo, prompted thousands of people to demonstrate last week, calling for regional officials' resignations and alleging widespread corruption and incompetency.

Seven people have been arrested in the case, including the woman who headed the local building inspection agency when the mall was constructed. Fire survivors say the mall's fire alarm system did not work during the blaze.

The dead included 41 children.