Death toll in Ukraine gas blast rises to 15

KIEV, October 15 (RIA Novosti) - The death toll following Saturday's household gas explosion in Dnepropetrovsk in south-central Ukraine has risen to 15, the Ukrainian emergency situations ministry said on Monday.

The blast, which occurred on October 13 in a nine-storey building in Ukraine's third-largest city, caused a section of the building to collapse, and also damaged ten neighboring buildings.

"Several minutes ago, the body of the 15th victim was recovered from the debris at the site of the blast. The body was sent for identification," the ministry said.

According to preliminary information, the gas blast occurred due to a sharp increase in pressure in the gas network. At the same time, the Ukrainian Security Service ruled out terrorism.

The ministry said 17 people remain in hospital, and rescuers are searching for seven missing people.

The Donetsk Region will allocate 300,000 hryvna ($60,000) to help the gas blast victims, a regional official said.

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