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Gas Explosion in Tomsk Apartment Building Kills One

A gas tank exploded on the ninth floor of an apartment building in the Siberian city of Tomsk on Friday, causing a fire in which at least one person died and eight people were injured, local emergency officials said.

A statement by Tomsk region emergency officials said they were notified about the fire in the building at 33 Sibirskaya Ulitsa just before 12:30 p.m. Moscow time. It said the fire was extinguished just before 2:30 p.m.

Eight people were hospitalized with injuries sustained in the blaze and one person died, the statement said. Eighty-five people were evacuated from neighboring apartments.

According to preliminary findings, the fire was caused by the explosion of a gas tank while a ceiling was being repaired in an apartment.

Tomsk region Governor Sergei Zhvachkin and Tomsk Mayor Nikolai Nikolaichuk both arrived at the scene of the fire to assist in the rescue effort, the statement said.

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