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One Killed as Fire Erupts at Moscow Children's Mall, Hundreds Evacuated

Moskva News Agency

A fire has broken out at a children’s shopping mall in northeastern Moscow, reportedly killing at least one person, two weeks after 64 people were killed in a mall fire in Siberia. 

Around 600 visitors were evacuated from the “Perseus for Kids” shopping center after a fire ripped through the top floor of the four-story building, the RIA Novosti news agency reported on Wednesday.

“The victim, who has been evacuated from a burning building, died in an ambulance. He could not be saved,” the state-run TASS news agency cited an unnamed ambulance service official as saying. 

A Moscow Emergency Situations Ministry branch spokesman told reporters the victim was a mall employee who mixed up the emergency exit, instead advancing toward a smoke-filled area. 

The spokesman said that three firefighters had been injured.

The fire was reportedly assigned a “second category,” one point short of the worst on a five-point scale, the source was cited as saying. Videos and photos posted online showed plumes of smoke rising from windows in the mall’s top floor. 

An unnamed Emergencies Ministry Moscow branch representative later told TASS that the “open flames” have been put out. 

Russia's Investigative Committee announced that it had opened a criminal case into "death by negligence."

The incident comes after 41 children and 23 adults were killed in a fire that swept the top floors of the Winter Cherry mall in the Siberian city of Kemerovo on March 25. Authorities have detained several suspects in the investigation into the national tragedy, naming a short-circuit as the most likely cause of the fire. 

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