A blast in a cafe in the Urals city of Perm was caused by pyrotechnics, a spokesman for Russia's top investigation authority, Vladimir Markin, said on Saturday, ruling out a terrorist attack.
"Most of the victims died of burns and carbon monoxide poisoning. In addition, a stampede occurred at the exit," he said, adding that the death toll might rise.
Reports on casualties vary. Russian emergencies ministry said 94 people were killed and 139 hospitalized.
The head of the Investigative Committee at the Russian Prosecutor General's Office said that 76 dead bodies have been taken out of the cafe building so far.
The local emergencies service puts the death toll at 86. The regional public security minister, Igor Orlov, said that over 90 people were killed.
Russian President Dmitry Medvedev held a phone conversation with the region's governor, Oleg Chirkunov, and instructed him to assume personal control over the tragedy and to inform about measures to help those affected.
Russian Prime Minister Vladimir Putin has ordered to set up a governmental commission, led by the emergencies minister, Sergei Shoigu.
Shoigu, along with Health And Social Development Minister Tatyana Golikova and Interior Minister Sergei Shoigu are to fly to the site of the tragedy soon.
Russian Prosecutor General Yury Chaika assumed personal control over the investigation.
Two emergencies ministry plane with special equipment to transport people with extensive will also be sent to Perm.
MOSCOW, December 5 (RIA Novosti)
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