At least three dead in Russian Federation building collapse

Larry Hoffman
January 1, 2019

Some 110 people lived in the building, said the RIA news agency, citing the emergencies ministry.

A spokesman said: "Six people have been pulled out of the rubble, three died, three were injured, including a child".

Almost 1,400 rescue workers searched in temperatures of -17 degrees Celsius (1.4 degrees Fahrenheit). It happened before dawn when most residents were still asleep on the New Year's Eve.

"It is in the character of our people, despite New Year's festivities, to keep in mind to think of the dead and wounded at this moment", Putin said.

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.

They say 79 people are missing.

Rescuers are battling through the bitter cold in Russia's Ural Mountains for survivors after a gas explosion tore through a high-rise apartment building killing at least four people. Rescue efforts are underway.

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.

Local resident Anna Koroleva told Echo of Moscow radio that the explosion shattered windows of nearby buildings.

In 2015, at least five people were killed when a gas explosion damaged an apartment building in the southern city of Volgograd.

The emergencies ministry said on its web site that the section of the building could have collapsed due to a natural gas blast.

Russian President Vladimir Putin traveled to Magnitogorsk after being notified of the tragedy.

The local branch of Russia's Federal Security Service said the blast was believed to have been caused by a gas explosion.

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