Seven individuals, including two youngsters, were killed in Russia on Tuesday when a gas blast brought about part of a block of flats to crumple, authorities said.
“Due to the explosion, one section of a five-storey residential building collapsed” in the city of Yaroslavl north of Moscow, the regional emergencies ministry said in a statement.
“Five flats have been completely destroyed. Seven people died, including a teenager and a five-year-old child,” it said. The incident happened around 4:20 am (local time).
Three injured people rushed to hospital while authorities evacuated 131 residents and put them in temporary housing.
A spokeswoman for the emergencies ministry told AFP the reason for the blast was not yet clear but Russia’s Investigative Committee said it had launched a probe into possible safety violations. The governor of the Yaroslavl region, Sergei Yastrebov, said work was ongoing to check whether it was safe for other residents to pick up their belongings from the part of the building still standing.