Death toll in Russian apartment building explosion rises to 38 — report

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The death toll in a New Year’s Eve apartment building explosion in the Russian city of Magnitogorsk has risen to 38, state news agency TASS reported Thursday, citing an Emergency Situations Ministry spokesman.

Three people are also currently missing after part of the block collapsed in the suspected gas blast, according to TASS. Six children are among those confirmed dead, the ministry said in an earlier statement.

Six people were rescued, including two children. Among them was a baby boy plucked alive by from the rubble by rescuers Tuesday, having endured freezing temperatures. The ministry described his condition at the time as “serious.”

The removal of debris was continuing for a fourth day, the ministry said.

The search and rescue operation began Monday when a section of the 10-story building collapsed following a blast. Russia’s Investigative Committee is looking into a gas leak as a possible reason for the explosion, according to TASS.

The high-rise in Magnitogorsk, an industrial city in Russia’s Chelyabinsk region near the border with Kazakhstan, was home to about 120 people.

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