MOSCOW – The Latest on a deadly fire at a shopping mall in Russia (all times local):
Russian President Vladimir Putin has declared Wednesday a day of national mourning for the victims of a shopping mall fire in Siberia that killed at least 64 people.
Putin flew to the city of Kemerovo earlier on Tuesday to look at the investigation into the blaze that trapped dozens of parents and children who came to the entertainment center on Sunday on the first weekend of the school recess. Putin, however, did not come out to thousands of angry protesters who rallied on the central square demanding a transparent probe.
Following persistent calls to announce a period of mourning, the Kremlin said on Tuesday that Putin has declared Wednesday a day of mourning.
Several Russian cities including Moscow plan to hold rallies later on Tuesday to commemorate the dead.
Thousands of angry residents are rallying in the Russian city of Kemerovo to demand a full probe following a fire in a shopping mall that killed at least 64 people, many of them children.
The protesters are disputing the official death toll, saying that the authorities are hiding the real scale of the disaster.
The blaze engulfed the Winter Cherry mall in Kemerovo on Sunday, the first weekend of the school recess, trapping dozens of parents and children. Eyewitnesses reported that fire alarms were silent and many doors were locked.
President Vladimir Putin has flown to Kemerovo but has not spoken to the protesters yet.