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

  • state Presents Yarrow Slaps: More Water in The Artist’s Debut San Francisco Solo Exhibition

    AddThis Social Bookmark Button

    state is pleased to present More Water, a solo exhibition by Yarrow Smith-Lazer a.ka. Yarrow Slaps opening May 5 and running through June 16. This will be the artist's debut solo show in his hometown of San Francisco.

     
  • Beltway Insider: Obama/Orlando/Filibuster; Belgium-Paris Terror; Stanford Rape Judge; Okinawa; Bob Iger

    AddThis Social Bookmark Button

    President Obama and Vice President Biden joined families in Orlando, one week after the Pulse massacre, the worst shooting on U.S. soil, to offer condolences, encouragement and solidarity in the fight for renewed gun control measures and to end hatred.

     
  • Love Simon Review – Four Stars; A Feel Good, Stand and Cheer, Film

    AddThis Social Bookmark Button

    Love Simon, from 20th Century Fox, presents the story of Simon, a really cool kid, with surprisingly understanding parents, three great friends, a budding chef little sister and a secret of epic, or so he thinks, proportions.

     
  • Ebola Political Coverage, from Haute-Lifestyle.com, Receives Double Nomination for Journalistic Excellence

    AddThis Social Bookmark Button

    For Immediate Release (Los Angeles, CA) – The Beltway Insider, the weekly review of the nation’s top stories from the Washington beat, from Haute-Lifestyle.com, has been honored with two consecutive nominations for the prestigious Sidney Hillman Award for Journalistic Excellence.

     
  • Journey to the Christmas Star Review – Charming Holiday Enchantment

    AddThis Social Bookmark Button

    Journey to the Christmas Star,” from Vertical Entertainment and Moskus Entertainment, presents a heartwarming holiday adventure through an enchanted forest with magical encounters in a race to restore the Christmas Star.

     
  • Ritz-Carlton Ft. Lauderdale Review - Oceanfront Elegance

    AddThis Social Bookmark Button

    As the first and only AAA Five Diamond Hotel in Fort Lauderdale, Florida, I had decidedly high expectations for my vacation experience at the Ritz-Carlton Ft. Lauderdale. From the moment I arrived and was graciously greeted by the valet personnel who eagerly escorted me to the registration area to be checked in by equally affable front desk attendants.

     
  • A Cure For Wellness Review – A Trippy, Sci-Fi, Mind-Bending,Thrill Ride

    AddThis Social Bookmark Button

    A Cure For Wellness, from TSG Entertainment and 20th Century Fox, presents a mind-bending story of the power of folklore, mystery, health and the lengths people travel to stop the clock, to secure longevity, to escape, to find Zen.

     
  • HL Lifestyle: National Pizza Day Presents The Pizza Capital of Every State

    AddThis Social Bookmark Button

    Papa John’s Pizza benefited handsomely from Peyton Manning after the Super Bowl. “The Sheriff” shook hands with Papa John after the game and mentioned his love for the delicious steaming meat lovers supreme. Though these were supposedly unpaid, they are unsurprising given Manning’s financial ties to both brands.

     
  • Gun Control: Which States Have Banned Assault Weapons

    AddThis Social Bookmark Button

    Democratic representatives staged a 25-hour sit-in this week to force a vote on gun control measures, yet it is unclear whether Congress will make any progress on the issue.  

  • A Quiet Place Review – Perfectly Directed, Superbly Acted, A Four Star Horror Flick

    AddThis Social Bookmark Button

    A Quiet Place, from Paramount Pictures, presents a contemporary horror film filled with heightened suspense, haunted house pop-ups, stunning performances as a family attempts to adjust as an unknown "thing" mercilessly kills anyone who makes a sound.

     
  • Avert Valentine’s Day Disaster – Last Minutes Gifts Under $65

    AddThis Social Bookmark Button

    Showing your loved one just how much you care on Valentine's Day doesn't have to break the bank. With this collection of decadent, whimsical and generally thoughtful gift ideas that also happen to be economical, your Valentine's Day game can remain on-point without the hefty price tag.

     
  • HL Business: Media Moves – The Desk Shuffle; Retirement, Promotions, Greener Pastures

    AddThis Social Bookmark Button

    Media moguls are making the moves with television and cable networks and print and digital publications slicing longtime staffers and adding new, fresh talent as retirement woes, the desk shuffle, promotions, advancements, and greener pastures fill the crisp autumn air.

 

Login Form