Moscow shopping centre goes up in flames after huge explosion

Huge plumes of black smoke have been seen billowing from the site of a shopping mall to the east of Moscow in Russia after building materials caught fire and spread to the first floor, footage has shown. The “Stroypark” shopping centre in Balashikha, Moscow region was engulfed in flames on Monday morning in the second major incident in three days in the area. More than 60 firefighters and people from the Russian Emergencies Ministry were called to the scene as they desperately tried to put out the fire. Various footage of the incident shared on social media shows clouds of thick black smoke erupting from the shopping mall against the white snow that had recently fallen on the city.

At least one person, believed to be a security guard, was injured during the incident, reports from Russia state media have suggested. 

The victim suffered upper respiratory tract burns after he tried to put out the fire himself before firefighters arrived.

All others working in the building were “promptly evacuated”, according to the press service of the administration of the urban district of Balashikha. 

The fire was recorded by the Ministry of Emergency Situations at 08.33am local time (5.33am GMT) after the “operational-duty shift” received an urgent call from the shopping mall. 

An official press release from the regional department of the Ministry of Emergency Situations of the Russian Federation suggested the “burning of garbage” had been the operative issue. 

It read: “At the time of the arrival of the first fire and rescue unit, burning of garbage was observed in an open area covering an area of ​​200 sq.m. Further information is being specified.

“Attracted forces and means: 14 pieces of equipment, 45 people, including 6 pieces of equipment from the Russian Emergencies Ministry, 18 people.”

It added: “Keep calm, don’t panic. Observe fire safety rules!”

READ MORE: ‘Hundreds of Russians dead’ after 10 explosions rip through barracks [REVEAL] 

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