Europe

Russian shopping centre fire kills two

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Media captionWitnesses say they heard a bang before the fire started

At least two people have been killed after fire engulfed a three-storey shopping complex in central Russia, local officials said.

At least five other people were injured in the fire, in the city of Ufa, and dozens of fire-fighters were sent to tackle the blaze.

The cause of the fire is not known, but unconfirmed reports say it started after an explosion.

The building was evacuated amid fears the roof could collapse.

The fire started at about 1530 local time (1230 GMT), local officials say.

"Some witnesses heard a bang, and then the fire started," emergency ministry official Oleg Zugeyev was quoted as saying by Russia's Itar-Tass news agency.

At least six people were reportedly rescued from the building.

The bodies of a man and woman were later found in the gutted centre.

It was not immediately known if anyone was still trapped inside.

Ufa is the capital of the oil-rich province of Bashkortostan.