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Russian shopping mall fire kills at least 48, report says

Smoke rises above a shopping center in the Siberian city of Kemerovo, about 3,600 kilometers ( approximately 2,240 miles) east of Moscow. CREDIT: Russian Ministry for Emergency Situations/AP

MOSCOW  — A fire at a shopping mall in a Siberian city killed at least 48 people, Russian officials said Monday.

At least 16 people were still missing, state news agency Tass reported, citing Russian Emergencies Minister Vladimir Puchkov.

The fire at the four-story Winter Cherry mall in Kemerovo was extinguished in the 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, another emergency official said.

“More bodies were discovered during the inspection of the scene and we confirm the death toll is at 48,” Deputy Emergencies Minister Vladlen Aksyonov said, according to Tass.

The news agency had earlier reported that 11 of the bodies had been found in the mall’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 wasn’t immediately known. A criminal investigation was begun.

The mall is about 3,000 kilometers (1,900 miles) east of Moscow.