37 dead in fire at Siberian shopping center, Russian state media reports

Smoke rises above a shopping center in the Siberian city of Kemerovo, about 3,600 kilometers ( approximately 2,240 miles) east of Moscow. CREDIT: Russian Ministry for Emergency Situations/AP

MOSCOW – At least 37 people were killed in a fire at a shopping center in the Siberian city of Kemerovo on Sunday, a spokesman for the firefighting agency told Russian state media.

State news agency Tass reported that a fire at the Zimnyaya Vishnya — also known as Winter Cherry — shopping mall in central Kemerovo broke out on the top floor of a four story building and consumed an area of approximately 1,600 square meters.

About 69 people, 40 of whom are children, are missing as a result of the fire, a fire spokesman said.

Twenty people were saved from the burning building, Tass reported, and about 100 others were evacuated. The fire has been contained, the firefighting agency told Tass, and a criminal case has been opened.

Kemerovo is about 800 kilometers (approximately 500 miles) northeast of the Kazakhstan border.