Children trapped in Russian mall fire bid farewell by phone
Smoke began to fill the air in the mall’s theatre, which was mainly filled with children who were there for the movie “Sherlock Gnomes”. Panicked audience members found themselves being trapped when they rushed for the exits that were blocked.
Many started to use their phones to call for help and bid farewell to their family members. Among them is a 11-year-old girl, Victoria who is on a class trip to the mall.
Victoria’s aunt later told the new paper “She called me at 4.11pm the last time and told me that everything was in flames, and that the doors were blocked in the cinema, and that she cannot get out”
“I told her: Vika, take off your clothes and take them to your nose, breathe through your clothes,” Oganesyan said. “She told me, ‘Tell mummy that I loved her.'”
Many families recounted the same encounter of speaking to their loved ones who are trapped in the flames by phone – but being unable to help them.
The fire killed at least 64 people, many of them children. Russian authorities have confirmed that emergency exits of the mall had been blocked after investigations. They also said a security guard had switched off the fire alarm system.
Alexander and Olga Lillevyali told Meduza.io, a news website, that their 3 children were at the theatre when smoke billowed the theatre.
“My daughter kept calling me,” Lillevyali said, with tears in his eyes. “I only shouted to her that she should try to get out of the hall, but I couldn’t do anything. There was only fire in front of me.”
Account from 1 of the relatives states that the people could have been rescued. Out of the 3 cinema halls, there was 1 that had its door opened and no one died there. Relatives of the dead were infuriated that their loved ones had died behind blocked doors.
Some bodies were so badly burned that they will only be able to be identified through DNA, the Russian health minister, Veronica Skvortsova, said at a news briefing. Officials have started taking samples from relatives.
The mall will be demolished, Puchkov said.
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