"The blast killed 48 people, 27 women, 13 men and 8 children," he said.
Thirty-six victims have been identified. Two women, 18 and 60, died in the hospital.
Twelve people are in hospitals and five of them are in critical condition.
About 80 people could have lived in the section of the apartment building that exploded. According to rescue workers, there is little chance that survivors will be found.
Rescue workers are expected to work all day at the site. They have already cleared 80% of debris.
The blast, presumably a natural gas explosion, sheared off a section of an apartment building in Arkhangelsk on Tuesday night.