Authorities suspect arson but also said they were looking at safety violations as the cause of the fire in a northern Moscow suburb. More than 70 firefighters and 20 fire trucks were working to bring the fire under control.
Russian officials suspect “arson” behind a massive blaze the size of a football pitch in a sprawling shopping and entertainment centre in a northern Moscow suburb.
State news agencies later quoted sources as saying that safety violations were more likely the cause.
According to Sergey Poletykin, head of the Emergency Ministry’s branch in the capital, a security guard was reportedly killed in the fire.
“In the Moscow region, firefighters are putting out a fire the size of 7,000 square metres (75,300 square feet),” Russia’s Ministry of Emergency Situations said on Telegram.
Russian media later reported that one person had been killed in the fire at the Mega Khimki shopping centre, about seven km (four miles) from Moscow’s Sheremetyevo Airport.
More than 70 firefighters and 20 fire trucks were working at the site, emergency services said, adding that their work was hampered due to the design of the building.
“Due to the roof's collapse, the fire spread instantly to a large area,” the Moscow region’s emergency services said.
Videos on social media showed a huge fire, with people fleeing the burning building into a parking lot.