cloudy.png
Friday December 6th, 2019 4:15PM

Russia: 4 die in building collapse; searchers race weather

By The Associated Press
Related Articles
  Contact Editor

MOSCOW (AP) — Hundreds of rescue workers raced bitterly cold weather in Russia's Ural Mountains region Monday as they searched for survivors in the hulking concrete blocks from a partially collapsed apartment building where at least four people died.

The nation's top investigative agency, the Investigative Committee, said an explosion triggered by a gas leak apparently caused the pre-dawn collapse in the industrial city of Magnitogorsk. The New Year's Eve accident shocked Russians and marred the mood on the nation's most beloved holiday.

Authorities said five people were hospitalized with injuries and 35 others remained unaccounted for. Russian officials acknowledged that the odds of finding anyone alive in the debris looked increasingly slim given the extreme weather.

Nearly 1,400 rescue workers searched in temperatures of -17 degrees Celsius (1.4 degrees Fahrenheit). The overnight forecast called for temperatures to plunge to -24 degrees Celsius (-17 F) overnight.

"The chances are reducing with time," Health Minister Veronika Skvortsova responded curtly when pressed by reporters on the likelihood of finding trapped survivors. "But incredible stories do happen."

Emergency officials deployed powerful heaters to raise temperatures in the wreckage in case anyone trapped there was at risk of dying of hypothermia.

"We must work as quickly as we can as temperatures don't give us any time to linger," Deputy Emergency Minister Pavel Baryshev said during a conference call with local officials.

Officials said they had all the necessary equipment for a thorough search, but the work was proceeding slowly due to fear other sections of the 10-story building might collapse. Residents of some sections were evacuated as a precaution.

The structure was constructed from concrete panels. One that was left hanging in the collapsed section of the building came crashing down as television stations aired live broadcasts from the scene.

Russian President Vladimir Putin visited the accident site about 1,400 kilometers (870 miles) southeast of Moscow and went to a local hospital where injured residents were taken.

At the hospital, Putin spoke to a 13-year old boy, who sustained head injuries and frostbite after spending an hour under the rubble before being rescued.

"You will get well soon, you are a fighter," Putin told the boy after hearing that he was practicing martial arts.

Another survivor, Yulia Gavrilova, recalled the harrowing moments of the collapse.

"We were sleeping and I woke up feeling I was falling down," she said. "I first thought I was dreaming it. Then I woke up for real and realized that I was standing outside, the wall was not there any longer. My mother was screaming that she couldn't breathe and my son was screaming from another corner."

Local authorities initially said 68 people registered as residents in the collapsed section of the building were missing, but later tracked down some of them.

The Russian Emergency Ministry later said that 35 people remained unaccounted for, and it wasn't clear if they were in the building when it collapsed.

The Local governor, Boris Dubrovsky, told Putin that authorities published the missing persons list in the hope they were somewhere else when the explosion happened and would report their whereabouts. He promised to quickly provide new apartments for those who were left homeless.

Gas explosions in Russian homes and businesses are common, and they are usually blamed on neglect of safety rules or poor maintenance.

  • Associated Categories: Associated Press (AP), AP National News, AP Online National News, Top General short headlines, AP World News
© Copyright 2019 AccessWDUN.com
All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed without permission.
Russia: 4 die in building collapse; searchers race weather
Russian emergency officials say that at least four people have died in an apartment building collapse in the Ural Mountains region
9:48AM ( 7 minutes ago )
Health care, schools top finance-heavy agenda in states
Decisions about health care and education will top the agenda in many state capitols as lawmakers convene for their 2019 sessions
9:41AM ( 15 minutes ago )
Syria deaths at wartime low in 2018 as Assad made gains
A group that closely tracks Syria's war says nearly 20,000 people were killed in 2018, the lowest annual death toll of the nearly eight-year-long war
9:33AM ( 22 minutes ago )
Associated Press (AP)
Elizabeth Warren takes big move toward 2020 presidential run
Sen. Elizabeth Warren is taking the first major step toward running for president
8:32AM ( 1 hour ago )
In France, protests planned amid New Year's Eve celebrations
Paris prepares to hold its annual New Year's Eve celebrations on the Champs-Elysees under heavy security as some yellow vest protesters are planning to be on the famed avenue
8:18AM ( 1 hour ago )
Bangladesh ruling coalition declared winner of disputed vote
Bangladesh's ruling alliance has overwhelmingly won the country's general election, allowing Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina to govern for a third straight term despite allegations of intimidation and the opposition disputing the outcome
8:01AM ( 1 hour ago )
AP National News
Aides: Trump's wall pledge may not be what people expected
Three Trump confidants indicate his signature campaign pledge to build a wall along the border may not be as clearcut as it once sounded
1:44AM ( 8 hours ago )
Former Afghanistan commander warns of plans to cut troops
The former top U.S. commander in Afghanistan says that withdrawing up to half the 14,000 American troops serving there reduces the incentive for the Taliban to negotiate
12:54AM ( 9 hours ago )
Aides give conflicting signals on Trump's promise of a wall
Three Trump confidants indicate his signature campaign pledge to build a wall along the border may not be as clearcut as it once sounded
12:47AM ( 9 hours ago )
AP Online National News
Health care, schools top finance-heavy agenda in states
Decisions about health care and education will top the agenda in many state capitols as lawmakers convene for their 2019 sessions
9:41AM ( 15 minutes ago )
Syria deaths at wartime low in 2018 as Assad made gains
A group that closely tracks Syria's war says nearly 20,000 people were killed in 2018, the lowest annual death toll of the nearly eight-year-long war
9:33AM ( 23 minutes ago )
Elizabeth Warren makes big move toward 2020 presidential run
Sen. Elizabeth Warren is taking the first major step toward running for president
9:19AM ( 37 minutes ago )
Lion kills worker after escaping locked area
A wildlife center in North Carolina says a worker has been killed by a lion that got loose from a locked space
9:10AM ( 46 minutes ago )
Trump-Pelosi showdown over shutdown first battle of new era
Showdown between Trump and Pelosi could set the tone for divided government in the coming months
9:04AM ( 51 minutes ago )