Login Form

Horror Stories Emerge from Russian Mall Inferno; Putin Visits; Officials Underestimate Deaths

AddThis Social Bookmark Button

A makeshift memorial overflowing with flowers, stuffed animals and pictures of lost loved ones stands outside the Winter Cherry Entertainment complex in Kemerovo one day after a deadly inferno ripped through the upper floors killing at least 64.

President Vladimir Putin traveled to Kemerovo lying a wreath at the memorial and visiting survivors. His indignation over the escalating death toll and building code violations was visible.

"What is happening here?" he said, after laying a wreath. "This is no battle or an unexpected methane outburst in a mine. People, children came to relax. We are talking about demography and are losing so many people because of what? Because of criminal negligence, sloppiness," the BBC reported.

A growing demonstration, lasting over seven hours, with survivors showing a range of emotions from shocked silence to desperate sobs, as they held pictures of loved ones, many children, who are believed to have died.

Social media postings from local resident indicate more than 300 dead.

Families Demand Answers

Choking back tears, survivor Igor Vostrikov, a local businessman and one of some affluence in the town, was accused, not unlike the Parkland school shooting survivors, of trying to gain publicity and some level of notoriety as he challenged continue to speak to any who would listen. He lost his wife, sister and three young children, ages two, five and seven who were in one of the two movie theaters that had locked exit doors.


Death Toll Expected To Rise as Massive Inferno Engulfs Famed London Apartment Building


In a complex the size of Winter Cherry, one expects on any given Sunday it would be filled and from all accounts the theaters, where the concentration of dead have been found, were filled. On this Sunday, children from Treshchevsky on a school trip celebrating a week long winter break were watching the weekend release "Sherlock Gnomes."

Viktoria Pochankina, a beautiful 11-year-old girl, alone with her classmates, telephoned home at 4:11pm.." "She called me at 4:11 p.m. the last time and told me that everything was in flames, and that the doors were blocked in the cinema, and that she cannot get out," Viktoria's aunt, Yevgeniya Oganesyan, told the newspaper Komsomolskaya Pravda. "I told her: Vika, take off your clothes and take them to your nose, breathe through your clothes," Ms. Oganesyan said. "She told me, 'Tell Mummy that I loved her,'" the New York Times reported.

Vilena Chernikova, also 11 and also beautiful, from neighboring Treshchevsky, made one final posting on her social media Facebook style account, "I love myself and my family."

Mourners have posted messages of condolences. In the same thread local residents indicate 300 have died in the fire.

The Death Toll

The death toll in Russia's Winter Cherry Entertainment and Shopping complex remains at 64, with 85 still missing, 41 of them children. Teachers are assisting in compiling lists of students that haven't been heard from in the last 28 hours.

Horror stories have filled the media, each as equally sad and heart wrenching as the other.

Children from a nearby town, Treshchevsky, celebrating the beginning of Winter break, a family of five, three young sisters, all watching "Sherlock Gnomes" when 15 minutes into the film, at about 4:11PM, the theater began to fill with a thick, black, heavy smoke, almost instantaneously making it impossible to see.

The two theaters with locked exits were reportedly at capacity. Ticket sales, which can be pinpointed in exactness, will help to confirm the number of lives lost inside the theaters.

CCTV Shows Explosion

The fire began on the fourth floor in what was called the Trampoline room, filled with bounce houses and cushion ball jungle gyms, with a visible burst shown on Mall CCTV.

The video of the children's entertainment area, which shows the bright colorful games, an arcade style outer room, and in less than four seconds, people began running out of the Trampoline room, with pockets of fire in the background. A mother helping her daughter, one of the first to leave the room, can be seen in the forefront of the tape, when they were blacked out from the smoke which blacked out any view.

The thick, black choking smoke, which overcame the arcade in 20 seconds pushed through to the three movie theaters also on the 4th Floor. Rushing to the exits, panic and hysteria took over as the exits were blocked and suddenly what started as a family outing, a celebration, a fun afternoon, became a death trap.

Families have recounted the cold terror that cut through them as they spoke with their children for what would be the last time. Social media postings of children expressing love for their families, parents and themselves.


Beltway Insider: March For Our Lives; France Attack; Russian Fire; UK/US Plan Russian Expulsion

Several video's have been posted of a father running into the fire, trying to break through a door that was blocked to save his three daughters.

Another video of a child, a boy, 11, crawling out a window and falling four stories has been confirmed as authentic. The child was hospitalized, and put into a coma. He lost his entire family, mother, father and sister.

Authorities suspect the fire started in the Trampoline room, which is adjacent to the movie theaters. Two theaters had blocked exits, one did not. All escaped from the theater with available fire exits. All died in the other two.

Survivors explained there was no notification, no alarm, as one security guard turned it off after it began to sound.

The inferno, burned for 19 hours, with more than 600 firefighters and emergency services personal on sight.

Parents understanding the devastation and need for urgency have complained firefighters were slow to respond and unable to commit to a plan of action.

Russian President Vladimir Putin has declared Wednesday as a National Day of Mourning.

 

Haute Tease

  • Seventh Annual 2014 Bel-Air Film Festival Presented by A2E Family Partnership Announces Winners

    AddThis Social Bookmark Button

    October 19th, 2014- (LOS ANGELES)- The 2014 Seventh Annual Bel-Air Film Festival Presented by the A2E Family Partnership was held October 7th-12ththroughout Los Angeles. Opening night of the festival was held at the Saban Theater in Beverly Hills, hosted by actress Christina Collard which included an honoree ceremony, the official Los Angeles Premiere for JUST BEFORE I GO, directed by Courtney Cox, followed by an after party. 

     
  • Mexico's West Coast; Warm Pacific Breezes, Gorgeous Sunshine, Hypnotic Seas, Pristine Shores

    AddThis Social Bookmark Button

    Mexico’s West coast from Los Cabos to Puerto Vallarta to Acapulco, have, for approximately 30 million U.S. citizens according to the U.S. National Travel & Tourism Office, continued to reign as the destination of choice.

     
  • Fox Searchlight Pictures Acquires Director Amanda Lipitz’s Sundance Sensation “STEP”

    AddThis Social Bookmark Button

    Fox Searchlight Pictures Presidents Nancy Utley and Stephen Gilula announced today that the company has acquired worldwide distribution and remake rights to director and producer Amanda Lipitz's inspiring documentary STEP.  

  • LA 92 Review - Graphic, Brutal, Shocking Footage of LA Riots

    AddThis Social Bookmark Button

    LA 92, the National Geographic documentary, is one of four films that have been released on the Rodney King verdict and subsequent violence that erupted almost immediately and continued over a three-day period in April 1992.

     
  • Academy’s Oscar® Week Events Celebrate This Year’s Nominees

    AddThis Social Bookmark Button

    In the week leading up to the 89th Oscars®, the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences will present a series of public programs celebrating this year’s nominees in the seven categories. All events are open to the public.  

  • AFI Fest 2017 Presented By Audi Presentations and Conversations Announced

    AddThis Social Bookmark Button

    The American Film Institute (AFI) today announced the Presentations and Conversations lineups for AFI FEST 2017 presented by Audi. Events include a conversation on directing with Christopher Nolan who will discuss his acclaimed film DUNKIRK.  

  • Robin Roberts, Lara Spencer, Jess Cagle and Tyson Beckford to host Oscars® "Red Carpet Live" Show

    AddThis Social Bookmark Button

    BEVERLY HILLS, CA – "Good Morning America" anchors Robin Roberts and Lara Spencer, and Jess Cagle, editor of People and editorial director of Entertainment Weekly, return to host the Oscars "Red Carpet Live" show, along with actor, model and television host Tyson Beckford.