Putin Travels To Scene After Four Killed In Deadly High-Rise Blast

Putin Travels To Scene After Four Killed In Deadly High-Rise Blast

Emergencies minister Yevgeny Zinichev told Putin that between 36 and 40 people could be trapped under the rubble.

A suspected gas explosion in the Russian city of Magnitogorsk early Monday morning ripped through an apartment building, killing at least three people and burying dozens after a partial collapse of the structure.

A large section of the building collapsed after the explosion around 6:00 am local time (1100 GMT) at the high-rise in the industrial city of Magnitogorsk, almost 1,700 kilometres (1,050 miles) east of Moscow in the Ural mountains.

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.

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

The country's top investigative agency, the Investigative Committee, said an explosion triggered by a gas leak apparently caused the collapse in the industrial city of Magnitogorsk. A search and rescue effort is underway involving 469 emergency workers.

The Soviet-era high-rise was built in 1973 and was home to around 1,100 people. Residents were evacuated to a nearby school.

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.

Gas blasts have become a relatively common occurrence in Russian Federation over recent years as the country struggles to cope with aging Soviet-era infrastructure and loose safety requirements, according to Reuters.

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