A fire broke out at one of the largest shopping malls near Moscow on Friday morning, emergency services said, causing part of the structure to collapse, hampering firefighters’ efforts to put out the blaze.
A fire at a shopping mall near MoscowPhoto: Twitter video capture
Officials said the mega shopping center in Khimki, near the Russian capital, was engulfed in flames covering an area of about 7,000 square meters, but there were no casualties at this time.
“Fire in the shopping center “Mega Khimki” on the Leningrad highway in Moscow. According to eyewitnesses, explosions were heard. Earlier, the roof caught fire, the fire spread over an area of 150 square meters. No information about victims.”
— M|§F|T \uD83C\uDDFA\uD83C\uDDF8\uD83C\uDDFA\uD83C\uDDE6 (@am_misfit) December 9, 2022
Russian emergency services suspect “criminal activity” at the origin of this massive fire. “Intentional actions such as a criminal arson are taken into account,” the Russian agency Interfax quoted by AFP as saying, according to Agerpres.
For its part, Sputnik, which has been acquired by the French press, said a criminal act was “one of the main explanations” for the massive fire.
Mega owned a number of Western chain stores, including one of the first IKEA stores in the Moscow region, before Russian companies pulled out following the conflict in Ukraine.
“Evil gamer. Amateur music trailblazer. Alcohol geek. Problem solver. Coffee advocate. Troublemaker. Infuriatingly humble zombieaholic.”