'Anyone Would Do the Same': Tajik Shopkeepers Save Lives in Kemerovo

2018/4/2 15:50:20

People stand near toys, flowers, balloons, and other items as they gather to commemorate the victims of a shopping mall fire on the day of national mourning in Kemerovo on March 28.

 

 


By Abdullo Ashurov and Farangis Najibullah for RFE./RL, Mar 31, 2018

 

"It was just an ordinary day and I was at work in our store at Zimnyaya Vishnya," Farzon Salimov recalls. "Suddenly, my nephew, who works at the shopping center, called me and said a fire had started on the fourth floor."

 

Within minutes the scene at the mall in the Siberian city of Kemerovo became chaotic, with smoke and fire filling the building and prompting visitors to run for safety. In the end, 64 people would lose their lives in the March 25 fire.

 

"First, we helped the customers in our shop to get out of the building," Salimov told RFE/RL's Tajik Service by telephone. "Then I saw that there were so many people gathered near the escalators, unable to get out through the main door."

 

Salimov, a native of the Tajik capital, Dushanbe, owns a business on the second floor of the Zimnyaya Vishnya (Winter Cherry) mall where he and four other Tajik workers sell shoes and clothes.

 

"There were many women, children, and elderly among the crowd stuck there," Salimov told RFE/RL on March 28. "The five of us helped them to get out of the building through our shop and by another door."

 

Salimov recalls running to the other side of the building along with his co-worker, Mahmud Khojaev, and several others who were helping to rescue people in the shopping complex.

 

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https://www.rferl.org/a/tajik-shopkeep ... rs-kemerovo/29133167.html

 

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