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Flats collapse after blast in southern Russia

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Flats collapse after blast in southern Russia


Part of a nine-storey housing block in southern Russia has collapsed killing at least two people and leaving a dozen or so more unaccounted for.

It happened in Astrakhan on the Caspian Sea.

Investigators believe the collapse was triggered by an explosion, possibly caused by gas, that destroyed a flat on one of the lower floors.

Passers-by immediately pulled a little girl from the rubble. Other residents who had tumbled from the upper floors could be seen clearly scrambling to safety.

Emergency services are working on the theory that the explosion might have been caused by a resident trying to commit suicide.

The emergencies ministry in Moscow said it was sending two transporter planes with specialist rescue teams and equipment.

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