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Four Dead in Volgograd Gas Explosion

Dmitry Rogulin / TASS

Four people have died after a gas explosion tore through a residential building in the Russian city of Volgograd.

One victim, who was pulled from the rubble of the four-story building on Tuesday night, has been identified as a 26-year-old women, Russia's TASS news agency reported.

An 86-year-old woman and a worker for the Volgograd gas board have also been named among the dead. The fourth victim has yet to be identified.

Twelve apartments were demolished and a central stairway collapsed after the explosion in a ground-floor flat on Tuesday afternoon. Eleven people were injured, and 40 more were evacuated.

Police are currently investigating whether unqualified local handymen could have damaged the building's gas pipeline by illegally connecting it to the building's water pipes. 

A spokesperson for the local Emergency Situations Ministry told TASS that the rescue operation would continue.

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