Source AP ©

Death toll of Ukrainian gas explosion rises to 17

Two more bodies were found under the debris of a Ukrainian block of flats ruined as a result of a gas explosion on October 14. The number of victims has thus increased to 17 people.

The blast Saturday destroyed much of the 10-story building in the industrial city of Dnipropetrovsk, about 600 kilometers (370 miles) from the capital, Kiev, ripping off parts of the roof and blowing out dozens of windows.

With the recovery of two bodies, the total number killed stands at 17, said Lyudmila Shcherban, an Emergency Situations Ministry spokeswoman. At least eight others are still believed to be buried in the rubble and are being searched.

Prosecutors believe the blast occurred because the valves which regulate gas pressure in pipes had been worn out.

Natural gas explosions resulting from improper usage, poor infrastructure or faulty butane and propane tanks are common in the former Soviet Union.

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