Bodies incinerated in intense fire, says Prosecutor's Office

Aftermath of the Russian strike on May 25 on the Epicenter mall
Aftermath of the Russian strike on May 25 on the Epicenter mall

Almost nothing was left of some bodies due to a very strong fire, said Dmytro Chubenko, spokesperson for the Kharkiv Regional Prosecutor's Office, on Radio Free Europe/Radio Liberty on May 27, commenting on the Russian attack on the Epicenter mall in Kharkiv.

"It takes time to find the bodies because the area of this store is very large, there was a very strong fire, and it is difficult to find the bodies in this ash," Chubenko said.

"In addition, almost nothing remained of some bodies — just small fragments."

Read also: 8-year-old boy gives DNA sample to find missing father after Kharkiv mall attack

Four body fragments were recovered at the scene, and a DNA examination will determine whether they belong to the same person or different people, he said.

"Everything is so mutilated that it is impossible to even understand what parts of the body these are," he added. "It is only tentatively clear that it was one of the victims."

Some employees of the mall died while evacuating visitors, said Oleksandr Lutsenko, director of the Kharkiv Epicenter. Rescuers continue to search for the dead, he noted.

Read also: New footage released from inside Kharkiv mall during Russian attack

As of May 27, 21 people were in hospitals with injuries from the Russian attack on the Epicenter and residential buildings in Kharkiv, reported Kharkiv Governor Oleh Synehubov. Among them is a 13-year-old child in a medium severity condition with positive dynamics. Two people are in intensive care in serious condition. Doctors are providing all necessary medical assistance.

The Russian attack on the Epicenter mall in Kharkiv on May 25

An explosion rocked Kharkiv at 4:02 p.m. on May 25, with Mayor Ihor Terekhov reporting that the attack targeted a residential area.

The occupiers hit the Epicenter with two guided aerial bombs, sparking a fire that spread over more than 10,000 square meters. About 200 people were in the store.

Read also: Kharkiv mall bombing death toll climbs to 16, rescue efforts ongoing

Rescuers are still sorting through the rubble of the destroyed mall.

As of the evening of May 26, about 16 people were dead and more than 40 wounded.

Law enforcement identified 11 victims of the Russian attack, including a 12-year-old girl and her mother, the Prosecutor General's Office reported. Seven people are considered missing, according to law enforcement.

May 27 was declared a day of mourning for the dead in Kharkiv.

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Read the original article on The New Voice of Ukraine