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18 Injured in Gas Explosion at St. Petersburg Restaurant

A powerful explosion at a Chinese restaurant in St. Petersburg on Friday morning injured 18 people and made two apartments above the restaurant uninhabitable, Interfax reported.

Police suspected a gas leak as the most likely cause of the blast.

Thirteen people were hospitalized with injuries from the explosion and a resulting fire. Five others were wounded but refused to be hospitalized.

The blast also partially destroyed the staircase on the lower floors of the apartment building located above the restaurant.

Police have opened a criminal case against the restaurant for failing to meet safety standards.

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