The entire first entrance - from the ninth to the first floor - of the Baltic Marine Steamship Line hostel collapsed in St.Petersburg. There is dense fumigation in the second entrance, the RF Ministry of Emergencies reported.
Rescuers and a fire-brigade are working on the spot. 40 dwellers have been evacuated.
The information on victims is being specified. According to preliminary information, it was the explosion of utility gas that caused the collapse.
Experts admit that the earthwork to change pipes, which began on Monday morning in close vicinity to the building, might have been one of the reasons for the disorder in the gas-supply system.
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