rusa.jpg

Sixty-four people are confirmed to have died in a fire at a shopping center in Siberia.

Russia’s emergency situations minister Vladimir Puchkov told a televised briefing on Monday that firefighters had finished combing through the four floors of the shopping center in the city of Kemerovo.

Six bodies have not yet been recovered, he said.Puchkov would not say how many of the victims were children.

The Winter Cherry center was a popular destination for families and it was packed with visitors on Sunday, the first weekend of the school holiday when the fire broke out.

The fire was extinguished on Monday morning after burning through the night.

Parts of the building were still smoldering and the floors of the cinema hall had caved in in places, officials said.

Russia fire© PA Russia fire State news agency Tass had earlier reported that 11 of the bodies had been found in the center’s cinema.

The shopping center opened in 2013 and also included a petting zoo, children’s center, and bowling.

Tass said the fire started on the top floor but the cause was not yet known. A criminal investigation has begun.

The shopping center is about 1,900 miles east of Moscow.