In a tragic incident, 64 people including children died in a massive fire in a shopping mall in the Siberian coal-mining city of Kemerovo, according to the Russian Emergencies Ministry.
The fire broke out in the children’s playground area of the Winter Cherry complex allegedly after electrical wiring there short-circuited.
The fire started at around 17:00 (10:00 GMT) and was contained after 12 hours of massive firefighting operation.
Building of the shopping mall sustained severe damage and roof collapsed in two cinemas, Russia's Investigative Committee said in a statement.
At least 10 people were still missing and rescue operations were still on with emergency personnel searching the burned-out shopping mall for with very slim chances of them being alive.
“This shopping centre on several floors was packed with people mid-day Sunday. No one knows exactly how many people there were inside when the fire broke out,” Alexandre Eremeyev, an official with the local Russian emergency services ministry, said in a statement.
It was the deadliest blaze in Russia in recent years.
A shopping mall fire in March 2015 killed 11 people in Kazan, the capital of Tatarstan some 800 kilometres east of Moscow.
In April 2013, a fire ravaged a psychiatric hospital in the Moscow region, killing 38 people, most of them patients who were engulfed by flames as they slept behind barred windows.
Just months later, in September 2013, 37 people were killed when a fire swept through a psychiatric hospital in the village of Luka in northwest Russia.
In 2009, 156 were killed in a nightclub fire in the city of Perm, 1,200 kilometres east of Moscow in one of the deadliest accidents in Russia’s modern history.
(With inputs from agencies)