Gas explosion has ripped through an apartment building in Russian city of Arkhangels early this morning killing at least 21 and injuring 22 individuals. Several dozens of men can still be buried under the debris.
(A total of 63 people lived in that part of the building)
The blast occurred at 3:25 am MSK in one of the halls of the apartment building located on Sovestsy Cosmonaut drive, 120. One side of the building was completely torn down. Several neighboring apartment buildings have shattered windows. Currently, all residents remain in the nearby children day care center.
20 people have been rescued so far. Among them are two children. There were 35-40 apartments in that part of the building.
At the moment, there is no official version of the incident. Based on preliminary information, it was a natural gas explosion. According to RBC, many witnesses smelled gas right after the collapse.
“Echo of Moscow” reports with a reference to a gas official that several overnight repair teams have traveled to liquidate gas leaks in the nearby apartment buildings last night. Apparently, some plugs have been unscrewed from those gas pipes. Law enforcement also a version of a terrorist act.
According to Russian NTV channel, the blast happened somewhere around the second floor of the building. Around 7:00 am MSK fire erupted from the debris. It was quickly liquidated. Currently, rescue workers from the Ministry of Emergency Situations continue to shuffle through the wreckage.
Police filed a criminal case in regards to the explosion in the apartment building. The criminal case is based on article 109 of the Criminal Code of the Russian Federation (causing death by accident) and article 168 (causing accidental damage).
In the meantime, an airplane Il-76 of the Ministry of Emergency Situations with additional team of rescue workers on board has landed in Arkhangelsk. 59 people on board include rescue workers, rescuers from “Centerospas” and cynologists with dogs who will look for those who managed to survive. Also, assistant director of the Ministry Yuri Vorobyev has arrived along with the rescuers. He will head the rescue operation.
Source: Russian information agencies
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