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Russia fire: Kemerovo shopping centre blaze kills children

At least four people, three of them children, have been killed and dozens injured in a fire at a shopping centre in Siberia, media reports say.

The blaze started on the fourth floor of the Winter Cherry building in the city of Kemerovo, according to Russia’s Sputnik news site.

Video posted on social media showed smoke billowing from windows as fire crews worked to evacuate the property.

People were also seen jumping from windows to escape the flames on Sunday.

Initial reports said that four children had died, but this was later corrected to three children and a woman.

A representative of Russia’s Investigative Committee, Svetlana Petrenko, said that 26 people had sought treatment or had been taken to hospital.

The fire started in part of the building that contains an entertainment complex and a cinema, local media reported, raising concerns that more children may have been trapped.

Ms Petrenko added that in two of the halls that formed part of the cinema, the ceiling had collapsed.

More than 200 people were reportedly evacuated in a rescue operation that involved 15 fire crews.

Eyewitnesses said the popular shopping centre also contained a zoo, with animals including guinea pigs, goats, hedgehogs and cats – although there have been no reports of any animal fatalities.

The cause of the blaze is not yet known but authorities have launched an investigation into the incident, Sputnik added.

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