Russia: Kemerovo mall alarm stopped functioning a week before tragedy — investigator

Vladimir Putin, Russian President (Russian): “Wait, why did not work the alarm?” Bastrykin: «Because it did not function due to technical reasons, it was off. Nobody was dealing with it and nobody knew why it has not worked since the nineteenth [of March]. It just did not work and nobody addressed it.” Putin: “So, weren't they aware the alarm was not working?” Bastrykin: “Yes, they were... Еще aware.” Putin: “And they did not take any action?” Bastrykin: “And they did not take any action. Though this company which provides such services. The fire safety, the alarm system [unclear] is its priority. Well, it worked very poorly.” The fire alarm system at the Kemerovo mall gutted by a fire on Sunday had ceased to function almost a week prior to the tragedy, Head of Russia’s Investigative Committee Alexander Bastrykin, told Russian President Vladimir Putin at a briefing in Kemerovo, Tuesday. “Yet the measures to fix this flaw were not taken,” explained the Russian official, adding that nobody “knew why it has not worked since the nineteenth [of March]. It just did not work and nobody addressed it.” Bastrykin also stated that a guard had failed to press “for unknown reasons” the button of a separate warning system, even though it “actually functioned.” Giving an in-depth review, the senior official also said that the doors to some of the mall’s cinema halls were blocked when the fire broke out and in the period afterwards. “One of the [reasons] is that to bar people without tickets, young people, from entering the cinema hall [the doors were closed]. You just close [the door] till the end of a film so that nobody can enter or leave,” Bastrykin stated.

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