In Australia Blaze at Moscow shopping centre forces 3,000 to evacuate

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Thick black smoke rises into the sky above the fire engulfing a building supplies centre in Moscow (AFP)

Three thousand people were evacuated from a shopping centre in Moscow on Sunday after a massive fire broke out, Russia’s emergency services ministry said.

About 55,000 square metres (592,000 square feet) of the commercial centre, which specialises in building materials, was engulfed in flames from around 1850 GMT, the ministry said in a statement.

Billowing clouds of thick black smoke rose into the sky above the partially collapsed roof of the structure, an AFP journalist observed.

“In total, 3,000 people were evacuated from the building,” the ministry said, adding that the fire caused “injuries according to preliminary information”.

More than 290 firefighters, 170 firefighting vehicles and three helicopters were dispatched to the scene.

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