Donetsk, Mar 26 – DAN. The DPR Head Alexander Zakharchenko has expressed his condolences over the fatal blaze at a shopping mall in the Russian city of Kemerovo, which killed over 60 people on Sunday.

"I extend our deepest condolences over the fire in a mall in the center of Kemerovo on behalf of all DPR residents and myself to families of the victims. This tragedy has shaken us to the core. The deaths of people and especially children are always a great pain. The residents of the DPR mourn the victims with you. During the war, we have learned too well, what it is like to lose friends and family members. We understand how hard it is to overcome such tragedies. May the victims forever be remembered," Zakharchenko said in a statement.

The blaze started on the upper floor of the Winter Cherry shopping mall in Kemerovo (3,600 km east of Moscow) around 5 p.m. Sunday, while many visitors with children were in a cinema or at children's' play area inside the complex. A trampoline with foam rubber was preliminary identified as the location of the fire outbreak.

Some 660 emergency personnel were deployed in the rescue effort. Firefighters managed to put out the blaze after 17 hours.

One of the deadliest fires in Russian post-Soviet history claimed at least 64 lives; some people are unaccounted for. Twenty people were saved from the burning building, and 100 others were evacuated. About 200 animals in the mall’s children’s zoo were also killed. *ot