Russian Federation: rescue teams retrieve 14 bodies from rubble of collapsed building

05 January, 2019, 11:28 | Author: Trevor Moore
  • Ilya Moskovets  TASS

Rescuers hunted for survivors Wednesday in the rubble of a Russian apartment building wrecked by a New Year's Eve gas explosion, but found only bodies as the number of confirmed dead rose to 28, four of them children.

The bodies found on Wednesday in the city of Magnitogorsk included a three-year-old girl, Russian news agencies cited the Emergencies Ninistry as saying.

At the hospital, Putin spoke to a 13-year old boy, who sustained head injuries and frostbite after spending an hour under the rubble before being rescued.

The Emergency Situations Ministry said that 26 apartments with 46 residents were destroyed in the collapse. Nighttime temperatures in the city 1,400 kilometers (870 miles) southeast of Moscow have fallen to about minus 20 degrees Celsius (minus 4 Fahrenheit).

Several deadly apartment-building explosions in Russian Federation in the past 25 years have been blamed on militants from the North Caucasus.

A bridge had been built to reach higher areas and one of the building's walls was taken down as it was threatening to collapse on rescue workers. The ministry described his condition at the time as "serious".

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Rescue efforts have been hindered due to the risk of debris falling down. "The Emergency Ministry ends its rescue operation".

Meanwhile, speculation has swirled around the successive explosions of the Soviet-era apartment block on Monday followed by the minibus on Tuesday.

"All the while, znak.com's sources in the Russian FSB in Moscow confirm the theory that it was a terrorist attack", the website reported Thursday, using the acronym for the Federal Security Service.

In 2015, at least five people were killed when a gas explosion damaged an apartment building in the southern city of Volgograd.

"I want to say that there are no clear facts showing any kind of confirmation of what is described on the internet today", Mayor Sergei Berdnikov said of the reports, according to state news agency Tass.

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