Russian President Vladimir Putin lays flowers near the Zimnyaya Vishnya shopping mall to mourn the victims of the fire in Kemerovo, Russia, on March 27, 2018. Criminal negligence and slovenliness are among the causes for the tragedy of Kemerovo shopping mall, said Russian President Vladimir Putin at a meeting during his visit Kemerovo on Tuesday. (Xinhua/Sputnik)
MOSCOW, March 27 (Xinhua) -- Criminal negligence and slovenliness are among the causes for the tragedy of Kemerovo shopping mall, said Russian President Vladimir Putin at a meeting during his visit Kemerovo on Tuesday.
"What is happening here -- this was not a combat situation, not an unexpected methane outburst in a mine. People came to rest, children. We talk about demographics and lose so many people because of what? Because of criminal negligence, because of slovenliness," Putin said.
A fire broke out Sunday afternoon at the shopping mall in Kemerovo city in southwestern Siberia, killing 64 people, including many children. It is one of the deadliest fires in Russia in recent years.
Putin also instructed head of Russia's Investigative Committee Alexander Bastrykin to give legal assessment of the actions of all officials who let the deadly Kemerovo shopping mall fire happen.
"It is necessary to give legal assessment of the actions of each official. You can not get a certificate without money, but you can sign anything for money," Putin said.
He also offered his condolences to the families and friends of the victims, starting the meeting with a moment of silence.
The Russian Investigative Committee has opened several criminal cases into the incident, including into the deaths through negligence and fire safety violations.
The tragedy has already launched a series of checks into compliance with fire safety regulations across the country.