Published: Tue, April 03, 2018
Global Media | By Garry Long

Russian governor resigns over shopping centre fire

Russian governor resigns over shopping centre fire

According to the statement of the Kemerovo administration, Aman Tuleyev submits resignation as governor of the Russian Kemerovo region on a voluntary basis, according Sputnik. He was the governor of Kemerovo region for 20 years.

The governor of Russia's Kemerovo region resigned on Sunday over a huge fire at a shopping mall in which at least 64 people died, including 41 children. His current term was due to expire in 2020.

Tuleyev, who had been at the helm of the key coal-mining region since 1997, said in a video address that he could no longer remain at his post with "such a heavy burden" and added that his resignation was "the only right choice". "I want to tell you, residents of Kemerovo and all the region, that I will do everything for those guilty in this bad tragedy to receive the harshest punishment", Tsivilyov said in a video address posted on the regional administration's website.

Sergei Tsyvilyev, Deputy Head of the region, is appointed an acting governor. I have met with the families of the victims, tried to solve the problems with delivering assistance [to the victims and their families]. Again, I offer my deep apologies.

The fire, which swept through a cinema complex and a children's play area in the Winter Cherry mall in the city of Kemerovo last Sunday, was one of the deadliest since the Soviet Union broke up in 1991. But we have to live, we have to move on.

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"I have done everything I could", Tuleyev said.

Russian President Vladimir Putin has accepted Tuleyev's resignation and signed a decree providing for the early termination of his authority, the Kremlin press service said in a statement.

Investigators found last week that fire exits in the mall were blocked, the alarm system was broken and the public address system was not switched on.

Many children became victims because they were using entertainment facilities at the top of the mall, including a cinema whose doors are said to have been locked.

Six people have been arrested in the case, including the head of the regional construction inspection agency when the shopping center was developed in a former candy factory, and the general director of the company that owns the mall.

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