Deadly blast ruins Russian Federation housing block in Magnitogorsk

3 dead, 79 missing in Russia apartment block explosion

3 dead, 79 missing in Russia apartment block explosion

At least three people have died and almost 80 others are missing after a Russian apartment block partially collapsed following a gas explosion.

At least 10 people have been rescued from the rubble, the news agency said, citing Russia's emergencies ministry.

An entire section of the 12-storey residential building collapsed when a gas explosion tore through the high-rise in the industrial city of Magnitogorsk almost 1,700kms (1,050 miles) east of Moscow in the Ural mountains.

State television said it was unclear how many people were still trapped but Oleg Klimov, Deputy Governor of the Chelyabinsk Region said, the fate of 79 people remains unknown.

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The high-rise was built in 1973 and was home to around 1,100 people.

Local authorities initially said 68 of those registered in the collapsed section of the building were unaccounted for, but later tracked down some of them. Today is a public holiday before the New Year celebrations in Russian Federation. The residents have been evacuated.

The gas explosion is believed to be a key cause of the accident, the Federal Security Service's branch in the Chelyabinsk Region said.

Russian President Vladimir Putin has dispatched Health Minister Veronika Skvortsova to Magnitogorsk.

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