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The Kremlin says the governor of the Siberian region where a shopping centre fire killed 64 people has resigned.

The statement Sunday said Aman Tuleyev had offered his resignation and that it was accepted by President Vladimir Putin. Tuleyev had headed the Kemerovo region for more than 20 years.

A March 25 fire at a four-story shopping mall in the regional capital, also called Kemerovo, prompted thousands of people to demonstrate last week, calling for regional officials’ resignations and alleging widespread corruption and incompetency.

Seven people have been arrested in the case, including the woman who headed the local building inspection agency when the mall was constructed. Fire survivors say the mall’s fire alarm system did not work during the blaze.

The dead included 41 children.

Investigators looking into a Russian shopping mall blaze that killed at least 64 people say the fire exits at the building had been blocked and alarm system wasn't functioning properly, as President Vladimir Putin visits area.


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