Chelyabinsk [Russia]: The death toll in the Magnitogorsk building collapse, presumably due to a natural gas blast, increased to three as the fate of 79 people is unknown, Chelyabinsk Region’s deputy Governor told reporters on Monday.
“Three alive and three dead people were taken from under the debris. The fate of 79 people is incomprehensible,” Oleg Klimov told reporters.
All those killed were adults, Klimov said, adding that three injured, including one child, were taken to the hospital.
The official also noted that the explosion apparently occurred on the second floor above the arc.
Furthermore, a criminal probe has been opened into the blast, according to Svetlana Petrenko, the Spokeswoman of the Investigative Committee.
“A criminal investigation has been opened on suspicion of a crime under Section 3 Article 109 of the Russian Criminal Code (manslaughter of two or more people),” she said. Investigators are currently on the scene.
Meanwhile, the Governor of Chelyabinsk, Boris Dubrovsky, told a local television channel that authorities were considering buying housing for the affected families. People who have been left homeless by the blast in biting cold have been brought to shelters.
According to preliminary information, at around 6 am (local time), a suspected natural gas blast hit the 10-storey building in Magnitogorsk here, damaging 48 apartments. The Russian Emergencies Ministry earlier reported that at least two people had been killed and ten others had been pulled out from the debris.