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Falling Icicle Kills 73-year-old Woman Feeding Cats in St. Petersburg

Andrei Pronin / TASS

An elderly woman was reportedly killed by an icicle that fell from the roof of a house while feeding the neighborhood cats.

Dozens of Russians are killed every year, mostly during the spring thaw, when rising temperatures cause melting icicles to fall onto the sidewalk from tall buildings.

A 73-year-old St. Petersburg woman died hours after being hospitalized with head trauma and a fractured neck, ribs and shoulder blade, the Fontanka.ru news website reported Friday.

City housing officials told Interfax that the woman had ignored warning tape surrounding the area where she was struck by the icicle.

"According to available information, the woman had visited the yard to feed cats," Interfax cited the city housing committee spokesperson as saying.

A criminal case into negligent death has been opened after Thursday’s gruesome incident, the Investigative Committee said in an online statement on its website.

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