MOSCOW – 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.