At least 3 dead, 79 missing after gas explosion rocks Russian Federation high-rise

Magnitogorsk tragedy

Magnitogorsk tragedy

Four people were confirmed dead and another four, including two children, were hospitalised, officials said, citing the latest information.

The explosion at a residential building in Magnitogorsk resulted in the collapse of one of its sections and damaged some 48 apartments where 110 people lived, according to media reports.

Officials said that the fate of 79 people was unclear, with police working to locate their whereabouts.

Temperatures in Magnitogorsk were expected to plunge to minus 23 Celsius on New Year's night, the biggest holiday of the year in Russian Federation. Officials warned that two more sections of the Soviet-era block were in danger of collapsing.

The regional governor, Boris Dubrovsky, who is at the site leading rescue operations, told reporters that 50 people might still be under the debris.

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

'Dozens missing' after fatal blast at apartment block

Magnitogorsk is a city of about 400,000 just over 1,000 miles from Moscow.

Emergency workers have evacuated residents of nearby sections of the building, fearing they could also tumble down.

The residents have been evacuated.

The scene of a part of a collapsed apartment building in Magnitogorsk.

"This is our common tragedy and pain", he said in a statement, adding that MMK would provide financial assistance to those in need. It said the calamity could have been caused by a gas blast.

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

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