Russian firefighters suspect a “criminal act” behind the massive fire at a shopping center outside Moscow, but now the official version is an accident. At least one person has died.
The flames began on Thursday night and have already covered “an area of 7,000 square meters,” Russian Emergency Situations Minister Alexander Kurenkov said on the Telegram platform, rather than the 18,000 square meters originally mentioned.
Russian emergency services initially said they suspected a “criminal act” behind the fire.
But later, Russian news agencies also pointed to a possible security breach as the possible origin of the flames.
The incident began in a building materials supermarket, which was undergoing repairs and welding work.
“The workers were unable to put out the flames and left the building,” an emergency services source told the official TASS news agency.
Videos posted on social media show a large fire and people running from the burning building towards the parking lot.