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Woman Killed in New Russian Apartment Building Blast


At least one resident was killed in Russia’s second apartment building explosion in as many weeks over what authorities say was a gas leak.

Thirty-nine people were killed on Dec. 31 when a section of a Soviet-era apartment block went down in the industrial city of Magnitogorsk. Authorities said the tragedy, which raised questions over negligence, occurred because of a gas leak.

A Monday morning explosion on the top floor of a nine-story building has reportedly claimed one life in southern Russia’s former mining town of Shakhty.

“One person died on the ninth floor,” an unnamed Emergency Situations Ministry official told Interfax. The victim was later identified as a woman.

Regional authorities said several people were injured and four others remain under the rubble in the town 1,000 kilometers south of Moscow. Some 140 residents have been evacuated.

After the Magnitogorsk explosion and a subsequent deadly minivan blast in the city on Jan. 1, speculation swirled over a possible terror attack. The regional news outlet said Friday it had forwarded several questions to the Investigative Committee, including regarding whether the two incidents are connected.

Rostov region governor Vasily Golubev said Monday’s explosion in Shakhty was “absolutely” due to a gas leak.

“A woman allegedly sensed a gas leak in one of the apartments and was planning to contact the authorities,” he was quoted as saying.

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