64 Perish in Russian Mall Fire


Rhea Rohr, Editor-in-Chief

On Monday, March 26, a fire started in a mall in Kemerovo, Russia. The fire killed 64, including an entire class of 41 schoolchildren who wound up being trapped in a movie theater. Some of the kids were able to make calls home to friends and family to say goodbye.

The fire alarms had ceased to work the week prior and the exits were blocked, making escape near impossible. This was not the first time fire safety in Russia had been carelessly neglected. Tatyana Darsaliya, a high school teacher, was one of the many to perish, but not before she saved her daughter and several other children.

Many people in Russia are furious and claiming corruption against the mall for deliberately ignoring safety regulations, which resulted in the mall being a death trap for those left inside. So far, five mall employees have been arrested for neglect of safety procedures.

The governor of the region since 1997, Aman Tuleyev, resigned in the aftermath; his niece was reportedly killed in the fire. Russian president Vladimir Putin blamed the fire on “criminal negligence.” It is unclear what change will come from this, but there will likely be new safety precautions put in place to prevent another accident.