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All Bodies Recovered in Aftermath of Russian Apartment Block Blast

Investigative Committee

Russia’s former mining town of Shakhty is gearing up for a day of mourning Wednesday as a fifth and final body was recovered from the rubble of an apartment building hit by an explosion earlier this week.

Authorities in Rostov region, 1,000 kilometers south of Moscow, say the top two floors of a nine-story building in Shakhty exploded Monday because of a gas leak. Gas is also blamed on the partial collapse of an apartment block Dec. 31 in the industrial city of Magnitogorsk in which 39 people were killed.

“The body of the fifth victim was found. Search and rescue operations have been completed,” Interfax quoted an unnamed Emergency Situations Ministry official as saying Wednesday.

The explosion destroyed four apartments and damaged 16 near the epicenter of the explosion on the ninth floor, the news agency cited the official as saying.

Rostov region’s governor declared a day of mourning in Shakhty for Wednesday.

Investigators opened a criminal case into death by negligence, a sentence that carries up to four years in prison.

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