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High rise collapse kills 2 in Russian Federation

High rise collapse kills 2 in Russian Federation”

A large section of the building collapsed after the explosion around 6.00 am local time (7.00pm Singapore time) at the high-rise in the industrial city of Magnitogorsk, almost 1,700 kilometres east of Moscow in the Ural mountains.

President Vladimir Putin flew into Magnitogorsk late on Monday afternoon, visiting the injured in hospital and meeting with local authorities, state television showed. It happened before dawn when most residents were still asleep on the New Year's Eve. Officials warned that two more sections of the Soviet-era block were in danger of collapsing.

Putin looked on as rescue workers toiled in temperatures of -22 Celsius to locate people trapped under the debris.

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Almost 1,400 rescuers searched for people who might be buried under building debris in temperatures of -17 C. The forecast called for temperatures to plunge to -24 C overnight.

The explosion shattered windows of nearby buildings, according to a local resident speaking on Echo of Moscow radio.

Regional governor Boris Dubrovsky said authorities planned to buy apartments for people who had lost their homes.

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The head of the Tajik diaspora in Magnitogorsk, Abulmajid Sharipov, told RFERL that a Tajik family of five was living in an apartment in the collapsed part of the building.

"This is our common tragedy and pain", he said in a statement, adding that MMK would provide financial assistance to those in need.

The local branch of Russia's Federal Security Service said the blast was believed to have been caused by a gas explosion.

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There have been several similar incidents in Russian Federation in recent years due to ageing infrastructure and poor safety regulations surrounding gas usage.



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