At least 12 killed, 69 missing in shopping mall fire in Siberia

MOSCOW, March 25 (Reuters) - At least 12 people were killed and 69 were unaccounted for on Sunday when fire tore through a shopping mall in the Siberian city of Kemerovo, Russian news agencies reported, citing local authorities.

TASS news agency, citing the crisis center set up after the fire, said 40 of those missing were children.

The Investigative Committee, which investigates high-profile crimes and reports directly to President Vladimir Putin, said as many as 35 people could be missing, while five were dead.

News agencies said more than 100 people had been evacuated from the mall, which contains cinemas, restaurants and shops.

There was no immediate indication of the cause of the fire. Television pictures showed people jumping from the windows of the mall, which was engulfed in black smoke.

Kemerovo is a coal-producing region some 3,600 km (2,200 miles) east of Moscow.

(Reporting by Vladimir Soldatkin Editing by Kevin Liffey)

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