Deadly fire engulfs Russian shopping centre

A huge fire has ripped through one of Moscow’s largest shopping centres, killing at least one person.

The blaze spread over an area of about 7,000sq m in the Mega shopping centre in Khimki, northwest of the Russian capital, authorities said.

The fire caused part of the building to collapse, hindering firefighters’ efforts to tackle the flames.

It broke out before the centre opened to customers.

Russia’s Investigative Committee, which probes major crimes, said it was looking into the cause of the fire.

Officials initially said arson may have been involved.

But, authorities later said the blaze appeared to have been sparked by welding that apparently violated safety regulations, with a probe launched.

The shopping centre used to house a number of Western shops, including IKEA, before the chains pulled out of Russia in the wake of the Ukraine conflict.

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