At least four people died in a fire in a movie theater at a popular seaside mall in Lima on Wednesday, ahead of a global summit bringing together presidents from the United States, Russia, China and other countries this week.
The victims appeared to be two men and two women, but the bodies were so charred that it would be hard to determine their sex and identities, Police General Hugo Begazo said on local broadcaster RPP. Begazo added that 13 people were missing at the Larcomar commercial center.
Larcomar put out a statement, saying the fire was in the movie theater and the causes are under investigation.
Firefighters were trying to find several missing people in Larcomar, said Miguel Eduardo Yi, a fire department chief in Lima.
U.S. President Barack Obama was scheduled to stay at a hotel in front of the mall during the annual Asia-Pacific Economic Cooperation summit that Peru is hosting this week, local media reported. The White House declined to comment.
The British embassy in Lima, less than a block from the mall, was closed due to a fire in its vicinity, the British government said in a statement.
Images on local television showed smoke billowing from Larcomar, the mall in the upscale district of Miraflores that is popular with tourists.
Obama and other world leaders were scheduled to arrive in Peru between Thursday and Friday.
Larcomar is managed by Chilean company Parque Arauco SA .