Russia’s Crocus Group vows to restore concert hall after deadly rampage

By Thomson Reuters Mar 24, 2024 | 2:58 AM

MOSCOW (Reuters) – The owner of the Russian concert hall destroyed in the mass shooting and fire that killed at least 133 people said on Sunday it would restore the building.

All that was left after Friday evening’s attack at the Crocus City Hall outside Moscow, which Islamic State has claimed responsibility for, were the charred iron support beams and the steel frames of hundreds of seats.

The centre, with capacity of more than 6,000 seats, was built by billionaire Aras Agalarov’s Crocus Group in 2009. It is part of a sprawling complex of shopping malls, restaurants and hotels on the western edge of the capital, just outside Moscow’s ring road.

“We will never forget those who fell victims to terrorists. What was destroyed by their dirty hands will be restored,” Crocus Group said in a statement.

Camouflage-clad gunmen opened fire with automatic weapons in the attack at the concert hall just before Soviet-era rock group Picnic was to perform its hit “Afraid of Nothing”. The building was set on fire, after which its roof collapsed, and hundreds of firefighters battled for hours to contain the blaze.

(Reporting by Vladimir Soldatkin; Editing by Frances Kerry)