Russian Federation explosion: Three dead as fears for 79 people grow - search continues

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Russia's emergencies ministry told news agencies it could have caused by gas.

Rescuers hunted for survivors on Monday after a gas explosion tore through a high-rise residential building in central Russian Federation, killing at least four people and leaving dozens unaccounted for.

Authorities said five people were hospitalized with injuries, and 35 other residents remained unaccounted for in the accident in Magnitogorsk, a city of 400,000 about 1,400 kilometres southeast of Moscow. A search and rescue effort is underway involving 469 emergency workers.

The emergencies ministry said the blast, probably caused by a gas leak, damaged 48 apartments.

Three people were killed and another 79 were unaccounted for after a gas explosion rocked a residential building in Russian Federation on Monday (Dec 31), leaving hundreds without a home in freezing temperatures on New Year's Eve.

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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.

Four people were killed and almost 70 unaccounted for after a gas explosion tore through a residential building in Russian Federation on Monday, leaving hundreds without a home in freezing temperatures on New Year's Eve.

Emergency officials admitted that they were racing against time as the frigid weather reduces the chances to find anyone alive. Residents were evacuated to a nearby school.

Dubrovsky said later that some apartments were leased and in general, 120 people, were housed in the collapsed part of the building.

The Kremlin said President Vladimir Putin had been "immediately notified of the tragedy in Magnitogorsk".

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