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Building Owner Arrested Over Deadly Russian Shopping Mall Fire

The head of the company that owned the building housing a shopping center damaged in a deadly fire in the Russian city of Kazan last week as been arrested.

A spokeswoman for the Investigative Committee in Tatarstan, Elvira Gazizova, told reporters on March 16 that Robert Khairullin, director general of AS Management Company, had been sent to pretrial detention until May 14.

Khairullin was charged with violation of fire safety rules, abuse of his position, forgery, and providing services not corresponding safety regulations.

The chairman of the board of AS Management, Aleksei Syomin, is also under investigation.

Syomin's representatives said on March 16 that he is currently in France and will be represented by his lawyers during the probe.

Part of the Admiral shopping center collapsed in the fire on March 11.

The death toll has reached 17 and the search for survivors was set to continue until March 17.

The dead include citizens of Russia, Kyrgyzstan, Tajikistan, Turkey and Uzbekistan.

Based on reporting by TASS and Interfax