Updated: 1/3/2019 4:08:35 AM
The death toll in a New Year's Eve apartment building explosion in the Russian city of Magnitogorsk has risen to 38, state news agency TASS reported Thursday, citing an Emergency Situations Ministry spokesman. Three people are also currently missing after part of the block collapsed in the suspected gas blast, according to TASS. Six children are among those confirmed dead, the ministry said in an earlier statement. Six people were rescued, including two children. Among them was a baby boy plucked alive by from the rubble by rescuers Tuesday, having endured freezing temperatures. The ministry described his condition at the time as "serious."
Published Monday, December 31, 2018
At least three people were killed and another 79 were unaccounted for after a gas explosion rocked a residential building in Russia on Monday, leaving hundreds without a home in freezing temperatures on New Year's Eve.
An entire section of the 12-floor residential building collapsed when a gas explosion tore through the high-rise in the industrial city of Magnitogorsk nearly 1,700 km east of Moscow in the Ural Mountains.
"Three people have been pulled alive from the rubble and three are dead," Boris Dubrovsky, governor of the Chelyabinsk region where the city is located, said in a statement.
Officials said that the fate of 79 people was unclear, with police working to locate their whereabouts.
National television broadcast footage of the mangled heaps of concrete as hundreds of rescuers combed the debris in temperatures of minus 18 Celsius (minus 0.4 Fahrenheit).
In a sign of the seriousness of the situation, President Vladimir Putin ordered emergencies minister Yevgeny Zinichev and health minister Veronika Skvortsova to travel to Magnitogorsk to personally oversee the rescue operation.
The Soviet-era high-rise was built in 1973 and was home to around 1,100 people. The remaining residents have been moved elsewhere.
A total of 110 people were registered as residents of the affected section of the building, regional authorities said.
Sixteen of them have been found and another 15 were not home at the time of the blast.
Deadly gas explosions are relatively common in Russia where much of the infrastructure dates back to the Soviet era and safety requirements are often ignored.
Chelyabinsk Oblast Explosion Facts
Affected Area: 1 km.
Alert Level: Yellow
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