Death toll rises to 53 in Russia shopping mall fire

At least 53 bodies have been recovered from a fire that swept through a busy shopping centre in an industrial city in Siberia, Russian news agencies said Monday.

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Many people are also still missing from the blaze that broke out Sunday in the city of Kemerovo, the agencies quoted emergency services as saying. A previous toll put the number of dead at 37 with nearly 70 missing, including 40 children.

More than 100 people had been evacuated from the mall.

There was no immediate indication of the cause of the fire. Authorities believe the fire broke out in the centre’s cinema and caused the roof to collapse above two auditoriums.

The flames spread across more than 1,000 square metres (11,000 feet) in the building, which has a bowling alley, sauna and several restaurants, Russian media reported.

Television pictures showed people jumping from the windows of the mall, which was engulfed in black smoke.

Kemerovo is a coal-producing region some 3,600 km (2,200 miles) east of Moscow.