A section of a five-floor apartment house in Russia’s city of Yaroslavl collapsed after a gas explosion, Ria Novosti reported, citing representatives from the local division of the Emergencies Ministry. The blast completely destroyed five apartments and damaged another 20, Ria Novosti added.
“The gas blast in a five-storey house led to the collapse of floors from the first to the fifth, burying people under debris,” the source said.
According to latest estimates, some seven residents could have been in the section of the building destroyed by the blast. Five of them were rescued from under the debris, Ria Novosti reported. One man later died. The rest have been hospitalized in critical condition.
“Five have been excavated, three more people may still remain under the debris. A baby boy is allegedly among them,” the source said. “All of them were rescued alive, but one man died during hospitalization.”
Emergencies Ministry is preparing two helicopters with medical equipment aboard for medical evacuation from Yaroslav to Moscow for those injured by the blast.
“At the airdrome Myachikovo in Moscow region two helicopters are prepared for launching: Ka-31 and Mi-8 with specialized medical modules aboard,” the source told TASS.
Authorities said that the most probable cause of the blast was incorrect gas equipment operation at the building, the source told Ria Novosti.
“Gas and electricity supply in the building are cut off at the moment,” the Emergencies Ministry official told Ria Novosti.
Technicians with specialized equipment have been sent from Moscow to the blast site.
The explosion was first reported to rescuers at 4:20 AM on Tuesday. An entire section of the building is said to have collapsed. There is a risk of a further collapse during the ongoing rescue attempts.