Four dead, dozens missing after gas explosion hits Russia high-rise

Four dead, dozens missing after gas explosion hits Russia high-rise

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 RIA that four people had been recovered alive after Monday's blast from the nine-storey building in Magnitogorsk, an industrial city some 1700km east of Moscow in the southern Urals.

RIA said it ripped through the building at around 6 a.m. when many residents were asleep.

Russian news agency TASS reports that six people have been pulled out of the rubble, of which three died, and that 79 were missing.

National television broadcast footage of rescue workers combing through mangled heaps of concrete and metal in temperatures of minus 18 Celsius.

The collapsed part of the building housed 110 people, of whom 15 were away at the time of the blast, the regional government said.

The rescue and search effort is being carried out involving 469 personnel and 66 pieces of equipment.

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

The ministry didn't say how many people died or the number of the residents that may be trapped in debris.

Russian President Vladimir Putin visited the accident site about 1,400 kilometres southeast of Moscow and went to a local hospital where injured residents were taken.

Such deadly gas explosions are relatively common in Russian Federation where much of the infrastructure dates back to the Soviet era and safety requirements are often ignored.

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