1 killed as fire rages through shopping mall in Moscow suburbs

The fire spread over an area of about 7,000 sq m in the Mega shopping centre in Khimki near the Russian capital. PHOTO: SCREENGRABS FROM NEXTA_TV/TWITTER

MOSCOW - Fire engulfed one of the largest shopping malls near Moscow early on Friday, emergency services said, leading to the one person killed after the collapse of part of the structure, which complicated firefighters’ efforts to douse the flames. 

The conflagration spread over an area of about 7,000 sq m (75,000 sq ft) in the Mega shopping centre in Khimki about 7km from Moscow’s Sheremetyevo Airport, authorities said.

One person died in the fire, authorities say. 

Russia’s Investigative Committee, which probes major crimes, said it was looking into the cause of the fire.

The head of the Moscow region’s emergency services agency said it appeared the blaze was the result of safety regulations being violated during repair work on the building. 

More than 70 firefighters and 20 fire trucks were working at the site, emergency services said, adding that their work was hampered due to the design of the building.

“Due to the collapse of the roof, the fire spread instantly to a large area,” the Moscow region’s emergency services said on Telegram.

Mega had been home to a large number of Western retail chains before the companies’ departure from Russia in the wake of the Ukraine conflict, including one of the first IKEA stores in the Moscow area. REUTERS, AFP

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