Victim in Zimnyaya Vishnya case: guards blocked main and emergency exit doors
A girl, who witnessed the terrible fire, told about the actions of the mall employees.
On Wednesday, May 22, hearings on the case of the fire at the Zimnyaya Vishnya mall continued in Kemerovo. One of the victims, a 13-year-old girl, has revealed some shocking details. According to her, the guards locked visitors in one of the shops and prevented evacuation.
The girl said her mother and she was standing by the cashier of one of the shoe stores on the second floor when the fire started.
“We asked the guards what was happening, and they said they didn’t know. Someone shouted that a fire started. The guards locked the doors of the main and emergency entrances and did not let us get out of the store; they did nothing more,” the victim said.
According to her, the doors were opened only after some visitors began to threaten the guards. The teenager’s mother confirmed this statement. She said that even after they were let out of the store, the guards prevented evacuation by “directing people here and there.” “There were no signs whatsoever, no evacuation plan; we exited the building ourselves, because we knew where to go,” she said.
Another victim, Sergey Agarkov, who lost his mother and two children in the fire, said that his son, along with two dozens of cinema visitors, was able to get out of the cinema hall after the fire started, but could not open the emergency exit.
As previously reported by The CrimeRussia, the fire occurred in March 2018. 60 people died, including 37 children. In total, three criminal cases were initiated following the fire, the defendants in which include 15 people. They are accused of Negligence (Art. 293 of the Russian Criminal Code), Failure to Satisfy Fire Safety Requirements (Art. 219), and Rendering of Services Which Do Not Meet Safety Standards (Art. 238), depending on the role of each of them.
General’s son Mikhail Sal’nikov, Professor of the Department of Theory of Government and Law at the St. Petersburg University of the Ministry of Internal Affairs (MIA) of the Russian Federation, has been detained for real estate fraud. Amid other corruption crimes hitting the headlines, this offense does not seem a high-profile one. But the point is that this is not the first criminal case instituted against professor Sal’nikov, and he is not the only relative of MIA general Viktor Sal’nikov having problems with the law.