One person was killed on Friday in a massive fire that destroyed a shopping center in a northern suburb of Moscow overnight, which has since been brought under control by emergency services.
“The open-air combustion has been extinguished,” the Ministry of Emergency Situations said in a statement, specifying that 130 firefighters and 40 teams were deployed in “conditions of high temperatures and dense smoke”.
The Russian Investigative Committee specified that a security guard died in the fire, confirming Russian media reports.
According to the first elements of the investigation, the fire was caused by “welding work that did not respect safety standards”.
At first, local news agencies pointed to an arson attack, although they later cited sources who denied a deliberate act and pointed to violations of safety regulations.
The fire took place in the Mega Khimki shopping center in the northern suburb of Khimki, affecting “7,000 m2” of the total area of 17,000 m2, according to the Investigation Committee.
“Due to the collapse of the roof, the fire instantly spread over a large area,” the Moscow region emergency service said in Telegram.
Videos posted on social media show a massive fire and people fleeing the burning building into the parking lot.
Mega Khimki is a vast shopping and leisure center in the suburb of Khimki, located close to Moscow’s Sheremetievo Airport.