Russian shopping centre fire death toll rises to 37 – officials

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The death toll following a shopping centre fire in the Russian city of Kemerovo has risen to 37, Russian news agencies have reported, citing local authorities.

It is a further increase following earlier figures from local officials who had said at least 12 people had died and at least 32 others had been injured in the blaze.

Authorities said more than 69 people were missing following the incident in the coal-producing region some 3,600km east of Moscow.

Russia’s TASS news agency, citing the crisis centre set up after the fire, said 40 of those missing were children.

The Russian State Investigative Committee added that 30 people were in the hospital.

The fire spread in the “Winter Cherry” shopping centre in Kemerovo, an industrial city in central Siberia.

Authorities believe the fire began in one of the centre’s cinema auditoriums.

The Interfax news agency said the fire spread to across more than 1,000 square metres of the building.

Firefighters were still battling to get the blaze under control this afternoon after more than 200 people were evacuated from the building.

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