Three killed in Russia when part of a building collapses
At least three people were killed and three others injured when a corner section of a nine-storey residential building collapsed in the provincial city of Izhevsk, Russian authorities said on Thursday.
The cause of the collapse was likely a gas explosion and other residents have been evacuated from the building, emergencies ministry official Igor Kutrovsky said.
According to the local health ministry, a member of the rescue team was also injured.
A representative of the Investigative Committee, Vera Filippova, said a probe into the collapse has been launched.
A total of eight flats were completely destroyed and 220 rescuers were on the scene looking for survivors.
The damaged building is a typical Soviet-era residential block made of concrete panels.
“There was the sound of such a loud blast that even the building shook,” a witness named Olga who lives in a neighbouring building told state television.
The collapsed area had 28 residents, and 10-15 people were at home when the accident happened.
The ministry sent reinforcements to Izhevsk, which is located some 940 kilometres (585 miles) east of Moscow, and has a population of about 650,000.
Explosions caused by natural gas leaks are frequent in Russia, especially in older Soviet-era buildings.
The last serious gas explosion in February 2016 killed seven people, including two children, when part of a block of flats collapsed in the city of Yaroslavl, north of Moscow.
Another in February 2012 killed 10 people in the southern city of Astrakhan and destroyed the entire side of a nine-storey building.