Residential building explosion kills six, 14 are missing, suicide or shoddy construction to blame
27.02.12 21:30 By Anastassia Berseneva, Vera Kramskikh, edited by Semyon Kvasha
The probable reason for the explosion was suicide Photo: youtube.com
Residential building gas eplosion which took place in the southern city of Astrakhan on Monday killed at least 6 people. Rescuers are searching for other 14, who are missing.
The explosion took place in 9-story block of flats at Nikolaya Ostrovskogo street. The whole section of a panel house, half of a riser in a block of flats, broke off and fell. 18 flats were utterly destroyed. There are at least 12 wounded, 14 people are considered missing. Police suspect a natural gas explosion, probably a suicide.
"First there was an explosion, probably on second or third floor, these floors fell down, and the wall gave out too, ' – RIA Novosti quotes the witness. "Two people managed to crawl out of there. We went to help and then all the other stories fell down, too. I saw two more people smothered, and several more who went to help were trapped inside".
Three hundred people are working on site. Rescue workers are in a hurry – it's cold in Astrakhan, +5 during the day and zero at night, people risk dying of hypothermia under the wreck. "The work is difficult, but we'll work until we take the last block to pieces". Officers of the Investigation committee are also working on site, they are trying to find out where the inhabitants of this block of flats could have been at the time of the explosion.
Ministry of emergency situation workers from Rostov-On-Don, Volglgrad and Kalmykia rushed to help their neighbours in Astrakhan.
"After exploring all the circumstances of the tragedy, we came to the conclusion that the cause was a natural gas explosion in one of the flats on the third floor. The investigators' main alternatives are: the infringement of the safety rules during construction or repairs, and also a suicide attempt by one of the inhabitants, who earlier declared he wished to end his life," an Investigation committee representative told Gazeta.ru.
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