World

Russian nightclub fire victims mourned

Mourners gathered for an all-day memorial service Sunday at a cathedral in the central Russian city of Perm to mark the deaths of dozens of people trapped in a nightclub fire.
A woman lights a candle in a church in Perm, 1,200 kilometres east of Moscow, on Sunday to pay tribute to those who died in the nightclub fire. ((Mikhail Metzel/Associated Press))
Mourners gathered for an all-day memorial service Sunday at a cathedral in the central Russian city of Perm to mark the deaths of dozens of people trapped in a nightclub fire.

People also made their way to the central morgue to identify the dead and to express their anger. One woman whose son died said the club's owners should be punished to the maximum.

"My son's wife is in her ninth month of pregnancy," she said. "How will she live now?"

At least 112 people were killed and another 130 injured, some critically, when sparks from fireworks set fire to a ceiling covered in plastic and tree branches inside of the Lame Horse nightclub.

There were more than 200 patrons inside. Many of the victims were killed or injured in the scramble get to the club's single exit.

Officials said club managers had ignored repeated demands from authorities to change the interior to comply with fire safety standards.

Authorities have arrested two registered co-owners of the club, its managing director and two other suspects. One other suspect was injured in the fire and remains in critical condition.

Russian President Dmitry Medvedev said the owners of the club had ''neither brains nor conscience'' and called for the toughest possible punishment.

 

With files from The Associated Press