Hunt for dozens missing in deadly Russian Federation high-rise blast

Hunt for dozens missing in deadly Russian Federation high-rise blast

Hunt for dozens missing in deadly Russian Federation high-rise blast

Russian emergency officials say that sections of the apartment building collapsed after an apparent gas explosion.

Rescuers hunted for survivors on Monday after a gas explosion tore through a high-rise residential building in central Russian Federation, killing at least four people and leaving dozens unaccounted for.

Russia's emergencies ministry told the news agency that four people had been recovered alive from the nine-story building in Magnitogorsk, an industrial city some 1,700 kilometers east of Moscow in the southern Urals. It happened before dawn when most residents were still asleep on New Year's Eve.

Local authorities initially said 68 people registered as residents in the collapsed section of the building were missing, but later tracked down some of them.

The Emergency Situations Ministry said on its website that in all, 48 apartments from the third to the 10th floor in the building's central part were damaged by the explosion.

The fate of 79 other people was not clear.

National television broadcast footage of the mangled heaps of concrete as hundreds of rescue workers combed the debris in temperatures of minus 18 deg C.

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

Dubrovsky, the local governor, said authorities planned to buy apartments for people who had lost their homes.

The Kremlin said President Vladimir Putin had been "immediately notified of the tragedy in Magnitogorsk".

There have been similar incidents in Russian Federation in recent years due to ageing infrastructure and poor safety over gas usage.

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