MOSCOW -- Pope Francis said he is "deeply saddened" by the fire at a shopping mall in Russia.

The pope sent a telegram Monday offering condolences for the dead, "especially the many children who lost their lives," and he offered blessings to those who are helping the injured and searching for the missing.

READ: Russian shopping mall fire kills 64; no alarms reported

At least 64 people were killed in a weekend fire at the Winter Cherry mall in Kemerovo packed with children and their parents on the opening weekend of a school break. (AP)