At least 4 dead in apartment building collapse in Russia
31st December 2018
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At least four people died Monday when sections of an apartment building collapsed after an apparent gas explosion in Russia’s Ural Mountains region, officials said.

The authorities said five others were hospitalized with injuries, and 68 other residents remained unaccounted for in the accident in Magnitogorsk, a city of 400,000 about 1,400 kilometres southeast of Moscow.

This image provided by the Russian Emergency Situations Ministry taken from TV footage, shows Emergency Situations employees working at the scene of a collapsed section of an apartment building in Magnitogorsk, Russia, Monday, Dec. 31, 2018.

The nation’s top investigative agency, the Investigative Committee, said the collapse of a section of the 10-storey building was apparently caused by a gas leak. It happened before dawn when most residents were still asleep on New Year’s Eve.

Nearly 1,400 rescuers were searching for those who could have been buried under debris.

Emergency workers have evacuated residents of nearby sections of the building, fearing they could also tumble down.

Emergency Situations employees working at the scene of a collapsed apartment building in Magnitogorsk, Russia, Monday, Dec. 31, 2018.

The Kremlin said that President Vladimir Putin has been briefed on the situation. Cabinet officials arrived in Magnitogorsk to oversee the rescue efforts.

Emergency Situations employees working at the scene of a collapsed apartment building in Magnitogorsk, Russia, Monday, Dec. 31, 2018.

Gas explosions in Russian homes and businesses are common, and they are usually blamed on neglect of safety rules or poor maintenance.

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