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Shopping mall fire in Siberia kills 64

The death toll from a Siberian shopping mall fire has climbed to 64, Russian officials confirmed

“Sixty-four bodies were found, 15 of them have been identified. Investigators are working with relatives of the victims, the process of identification is ongoing,” Vladimir Puchkov, Russia’s minister of emergency situations, told a news conference in Kemerovo, the city where the fire took place.

The fire’s victims include nine children, Svetlana Petrenko, the spokeswoman for Russia’s Investigative Committee, told reporters in Moscow earlier.

The fire was under control by noon, and efforts are now focused on recovery and clearing debris.

Three days of mourning have also been declared in Kemerovo starting Tuesday.

The fire in the four-story Winter Cherry shopping mall took place on Sunday.

The fire started on the top floor near a movie theater and children’s play area, and then expanded to consume an area of about 1,600 square meters. Twenty people were rescued from the building, while some 100 others were evacuated.

Turkish Foreign Minister Mevlut Cavusoglu offered condolences early Monday.

“Saddened by the news that many people lost their lives because of the fire in Russia’s Kemerovo city,” he tweeted. “I would like to offer condolences to the Russian people and state, as well as the victims’ families.”

Russia’s Investigative Committee has opened two criminal cases over the blaze: one on fire safety rules violations, and another on death by negligence.

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