Eighty people could be buried in the remains of an apartment block that collapsed in southern Ukraine overnight. National television carried the emergencies minister with that estimate.
An official spokesman said at least 17 people were killed in an explosion. Around 20 residents have been rescued.
A local politician said: “We are trying to find out who was here at the time. Some apartments were empty. We are checking the whereabouts of the people registered here. Those in need will get a place to live.”
The blast took place overnight in Yevpatoria, in the Crimea peninsula. Gas explosions in buildings commonly claim lives in former Soviet republics, especially in winter. The cause of the Yevpatoya accident has not yet been confirmed.