The building collapse in St. Petersburg was caused by foundation problems, Russian Emergencies Minister Sergei Shoigu told journalists.
It appears that a number of blocks were missing from the foundation, which was 40 centimetres shorter than it should have been. Most probably, that was a "construction defect," as the minister put it.
Besides, the soil and the hydrogeological situation have changed since the year 1971 when the building was erected, and that, too, could have affected the foundation, said Shoigu. Until 1969, there was a water channel here called Seldyanoi, but it was filled up with earth before the construction began.
According to the latest data, the building collapse claimed three lives, and one more girl is listed as missing.