Three killed after gas explosion at building in Russian Federation

Minnie Murray
December 31, 2018

A further 10 people were pulled from the rubble of a collapsed section, and 16 others, including seven children, were evacuated from nearby parts of the building without injuries.

Russian emergency officials say that at least four people have died after sections of the apartment building collapsed after an apparent gas explosion in the Ural Mountains region.

The emergencies ministry said the blast, probably caused by a gas leak, damaged 48 apartments.

It said 196 rescue workers were at the site.

"The fate of 79 people is unclear", he said, adding police were working to locate their whereabouts.

Authorities said rescue teams were to work through the night, with local temperatures expected to plunge to minus 23 Celsius (minus 9 Fahrenheit).

The explosion shattered windows of nearby buildings, according to a local resident speaking on Echo of Moscow radio.

According to the regional government, Russian Health Minister Veronika Skvortsova and Emergency Situations Minister Yevgeny Zinichev have arrived in Magnitogorsk and are now at the site.

Magnitogorsk is a city of about 400,000 just over 1,000 miles from Moscow.

Cabinet officials were heading to the city to oversee the rescue efforts.

The high-rise was built in 1973 and was home to around 1,100 people.

Temperatures in Magnitogorsk were expected to plunge to minus 23 Celsius on New Year's night, the biggest holiday of the year in Russian Federation.

Russian rescuers are searching for people trapped under the rubble of a city apartment block that partly collapsed in a suspected gas blast, killing at least three. It said the calamity could have been caused by a gas blast.

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