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    EXPLOSION OF GAS IN APARTMENT BUILDING KILLED 39 PEOPLE

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    ST. PETERSBURG, March 17 - RIA Novosti. The Main Directorate for Civil Defence and Emergency Situations of the region said that the death toll resultant from the explosion of gas in an apartment building in Arkhangelsk (the administrative centre of the region in the north-west of Russia bearing the same name) may increase.

    According to the agency's interlocutor, the rescue workers have presumably found two more bodies of killed but have failed to bring them to the surface so far.

    By the moment, 39 bodies of the killed, among them seven children, have been found, and 29 killed have been identified.

    e blast THe The The blast in nine-storey house No.120 in the Soviet Cosmonauts Street resounded roughly at 3.00 a.m., Moscow time, on Tuesday. As a result, one section of the building collapsed. A total of 63 people lived in the section.

    An explosion of household gas remains the main version of the cause of the tragedy, the press service of the Regional Interior directorate officials told RIA Novosti by telephone. According to the specialists working on the scene, the specifics of the explosion speak in favour of this version, the press service officials noted.

    A gas leak could result from opening of gas valves by someone, the Interior Directorate officials said.

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