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    ARKHANGELSK MOURNS HOUSE BLAST VICTIMS

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    ST. PETERSBURG, MARCH 17 (RIA NOVOSTI-NORTHWEST) - Saturday March 20 has been announced mourning day in the Arkhangelsk Region (Northwestern Federal District). The regional governor signed a respective decree today.

    "A residential house blast of March 16, at 120 Sovetskikh Kosmonavtov Avenue, Arkhangelsk, took a heavy toll of lives, and injured many. As he bewails the victims and condoles with the bereaved, the regional governor announces March 20, 2004, mourning day in the Arkhangelsk Region," the gubernatorial press service says in a public statement.

    The nine-storey house blast killed fifty, according to the latest statistics. Another five to fifteen bodies may be still under the debris, reports Viktor Beltsov, deputy chief of the Emergencies Ministry public relations department, who is at the site.

    He expects a major part of debris cleaning works finished tomorrow morning.

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