11 Apr 2018 14:07

Criminal charges brought against Kemerovo firefighting team commander - Russian Investigative Committee

MOSCOW. April 11 (Interfax) - Detectives probing the fire at the Zimnyaya Vishnya shopping mall in Kemerovo have brought criminal charges against a firefighting team commander, whose negligence killed 37 people, Russian Investigative Committee spokesperson Svetlana Petrenko said.

"At least 37 people trapped inside the second hall of the movie theater on the fourth floor of the Zimnyaya Vishnya shopping mall died as a result of negligence of Sergei Genin, the watch commander of the second fire station," Petrenko told Interfax on Wednesday.

"The firemen lost time which they could have spent rescuing and evacuating people to a safe place," Petrenko said.

She said Genin had been charged with negligence.

According to detectives, Genin, unit commander Anton Bridov, fireman of the second fire station Alexander Malyshenko, and A. Ananyev entered the burning building through the western entrance.

"Ananyev, an eyewitness, said that many people, including children, were trapped in the second hall of the movie theater on the fourth floor, and he showed the stairs near the entrance as the shortest way to the location," Petrenko said.

Genin ignored the information, did not check the shortest route, and ordered his unit to use the stairs in the southeastern part of the shopping center, she said.

"Genin's residence is being searched. He will soon be detained, and the detectives will choose a restrictive measure," Petrenko said.

He is facing up to seven years in prison on negligence charges.

The fire at the Zimnyaya Vishnya shopping center in Kemerovo broke out on March 25. According to the latest information, it killed 64 people, including over 40 children.