A fire ravages a large shopping center in Moscow (VIDEOS) – RT Russia and the former Soviet Union

Dramatic footage captured an explosion tearing through the burning section of the mall

A massive fire has broken out in a major shopping center on the outskirts of the Russian capital, with local officials saying the fire started in a construction store and is likely to spread to other departments and consume the entire mega complex.

Rescue workers responded to reports of a fire at the Mega Khimki shopping mall in the Moscow region just outside the nation’s capital shortly after 6 a.m. Friday morning, according to the Russian ministry’s regional office. Emergencies.

By 7:30 a.m., the fire had spread to an area of ​​approximately 7,000 square meters. At least 30 first responders are helping tackle the blaze with nine pieces of equipment, the ministry said, adding that the blaze was rated four out of five in terms of intensity. As the flames spread, rescuers announced plans to use a firefighting aircraft to help put out the blaze.

No casualties were reported, although local media suggested people were inside the building at some point during the fire. However, eyewitnesses said mall employees were evacuated from the complex immediately.

Dramatic footage doing the rounds online has revealed the extent of the flames, with several clips showing at least one explosion occurring inside the mall, as some outlets noted large amounts of “paints, varnishes” and other flammables were stored inside the mall’s burn section.

Denis Andreev, a Khimki city prosecutor, reportedly arrived at the scene to observe, while the wider Moscow region prosecutor’s office said it would launch an investigation into the incident and its cause. It’s unclear how the fire started, but officials confirmed it first broke out at OBI, a former German home improvement retailer sold to new Russian operators earlier this year.

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