Since the end of March, large-scale emergency exercises have been held in big shopping malls and cinemas all over Kharkiv to inspect their safety level.
These checks have been carried out on the order of Prime-Minister of Ukraine Volodymyr Groysman in connection with fire tragedy in Kemerovo, Russia, on March 25. About 70 people died as a result after the entertainment center set on fire, many of the victims were children. The reports say emergency exits were blocked and the rescuers did not act in accordance with fire safety guidelines.
Therefore, on March 28, the Ukrainian government ordered the Ministry of Internal Affairs of Ukraine and the State Emergency Service of Ukraine to launch an intensive review and verification of fire safety level of commercial, entertainment and educational centers.
On March 30, Kharkiv rescuers conducted large-scale fire-fighting exercises in the Frantsuzkyi Bulvar mall, they evacuated visitors and employees. The firefighters were on spot in less than five minutes and they rescued people through the first-floor exits. Also, two fire escape ladders were used for upper floors, however, one of the ladders appeared to be broken.
On April 3, Kharkiv rescuers conducted a comprehensive fire safety check of the Ave Plaza shopping center. On April 4, emergency exercises took place in the large shopping mall Karavan and children’s Fly Park, where the rescuers evacuated about 200 people.
Yesterday, April 5, fire and rescue exercises were held in the Mega-Antoshka trade center at Naukova metro station.
Most reports say that Kharkiv public places are safe and equipped properly for preventing fire. However, the rescuers found some drawbacks in the buildings and gave recommendations to improve the situation.
“There is a problem with those who rent premises, they often do not have fire extinguishers, some fire exits are blocked. We report on the detected problems to the shopping centers’ managers,” says Serhiy Kolosovsky, head of the department of the State Emergency Service of Ukraine in the Kharkiv region. The official says the checks are to be continued.
Text: Olena Sokolynska
Photo: NewsRoom, SQ