A massive fire erupted at Moscow’s main shopping centre, killing at least one person. Russia’s Emergencies Ministry stated.
Video from the blaze shows explosions at Mega Khimki’s massive mall.
Arson is being investigated for possible causes, but it is likely that an electrical fault was the more likely trigger.
The centre housed major Western retail outlets before they were forced out by the invasion of Ukraine in February.
Early Thursday morning, the fire spread to the roof of OBI’s superstore and covered 18,000 sq.m (194,000 square feet).
Russian media quoted firefighters as saying that the fire was contained to an area of 7,000 sq.m.
Two hours later, an official with the Emergencies Ministry said that the “open flame” had been put out.
Firefighters said that at least one explosion caused OBI to collapse, which sells products for home and garden improvement.
Exploding aerosols or paint tins are believed to be the cause of the blasts.
Russia’s Investigative Committee launched a criminal investigation into this incident. The loss from the fire was estimated at $320m-$480m, (PS261m-PS390m).
OBI, the German hardware chain, no longer owns this store. It sold all of its Russian outlets over the summer, including 27 superstores.
Josef Liokumovich (Russian-Israeli-born businessman) purchased a 60% stake at $10 (PS8).