Latin America & Caribbean

Peru Lima shopping centre fire: Five people killed

Peruvian firefighters regroup after a fire broke out in a shopping mall in Lima (16 November 2016) Image copyright AFP
Image caption Firefighters fought the blaze throughout Wednesday

At least five people have been killed after a fire broke out in one of the most expensive shopping centres in Peru's capital Lima, officials say.

The blaze started in a recently-renovated cinema where a film screening was taking place for journalists.

The cause of the fire is still being investigated.

The incident comes ahead of a global summit later this week in Lima which will be attended by the presidents of the US, Russia, China and Japan.

Interior Minister Carlos Basombrio told local media that sound-proof walls in the theatre appeared to be flammable, which allowed the fire to spread.

Image copyright AFP
Image caption Smoke could be seen rising above the mall in Lima's upmarket Miraflores district
Image copyright AFP
Image caption At least one firefighter was injured in the blaze

A large black mushroom cloud rose above the seaside Larcomar shopping centre as people with breathing difficulties were helped into ambulances.

At least one firefighter was also carried away on a stretcher.

Larcomar, managed by Chilean company Parque Arauco SA, said it was co-operating fully with the authorities and would close the centre for two days.

The British embassy in Lima, which is less than a block away from the mall, has been closed, the British government said in a statement.

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