Synthetic insulation allegedly responsible for the rapid fire spread that killed 64 in Siberia
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Synthetic insulation was likely the cause of the rapid, violent fire spread in a Russian shopping center in Southern Siberia yesterday. The final death count is 64 - many of the victims are children.
According to an investigation, the fire alarm had been shut down and emergency exits blocked during the catastrophic fire of Sunday in a shopping mall in the city of Kemerovo Siberia, Russia.
Local fire chief Sergei Yakovlev says to international media that the fire was spreading through flammable heat insulation, making it difficult to control.
Published by Bjorn Ulfsson / CTIF NEWS
(CTIF Editor´s Note:
Based on the information that has been circulating today, if synthetic insulation was present in the construction, that would likely be the reason for the rapid fire spread.
Synthetic insulation, trapped inside the walls, can burn with very little oxygen and it would be hard for firefighters to dowse the fire - even if they drench the building, the water cannot reach all the burning insulation. Synthetics also burn faster and they produce a lot more toxic gases than natural materials. If the people inside the shopping center didn´t die from heat or fire, they likely would have died from smoke inhalation, either from toxic content in the smoke, carbon monoxide, or both.)
The authorities suspect that the fire could have started in a playroom at the mall.
Four people have been detained - including the mall owner.
Many of the 64 dead are children, according to state authorities.
The firemen have finished scanning the four floors of the Zimnyaya Vishnya shopping mall for survivors.
According to a survey launched by the country's authorities, serious deficiencies have shown that the fire alarm has been suspended and emergency exits have been blocked, CNN reports.
Four people have now been taken into custody by authorities, one of them is the mall owner.
May have started in the trampoline room
People who escaped the mall fire have told local media that they have not notice any sprinkler system starting up, or heard any fire alarms.
"Our preliminary suspicion is that a child had a cigarette lighter that put fire on foam rubber in the trampoline room," said local governor Vladimir Chernov, according to the BBC.
The roofs of the two cinemas should have collapsed state the authorities.
Anna Zarechneva, who was on the top floor when the fire started watching a movie in the cinema with her husband and son.
- We did not hear the fire alarm and they did not even turn on the the lighs during the movie. That movie could have become the last one for us, we now realize, "she told AP.
Boy jumped out of the window
Around ten people in hospital are hospitalized by Russian health ministers.
An 11-year-old boy who jumped out of a window on the fourth floor is said to be the one who is most seriously injured . The boy's parents and younger brother died in the fire, says health minister Veronika Skvortsova, to AP, Associated Press.
Several of the dead were found inside the cinema. The rescue service has not yet found all dead.
Alexander Lillevjali lost his 11-year-old twin daughters in the fire. He tells the Russian news agency Meduza that his children called him and said they could not open the exit doors to the cinema.
"My daughter shouted at me. I just yelled at her trying to get out of the cinema, but I could not do anything. There were flames before me."
Local authorities in Siberian Kemerovo have announced a three-day mourning period.