1 dead, 3 injured in apartment block collapse in Siberia (PHOTOS)

One of the entrance halls has collapsed in a five-story apartment block in Mezhdurechensk, a city in Kemerovo Oblast, Russia.

At least one person has died and three have been injured in the collapse, RIA quoted a source in the Emergency Situations Ministry as saying.

“Four people have been affected, one of them died. Those who are injured are in a moderate condition,” the source told RIA.

A woman’s body, presumably 45-50 years old, was recovered from under the rubble. No identification has been found. Identification procedures will take place shortly, as well as procedures to establish the cause of death,” Interfax-Siberia reports, citing officials.

At least one person is thought to be trapped under the rubble of the building, a spokesperson for the rescue team told RIA.

Another rescue team source cited by the agency has placed the number of those trapped at up to 10.

Over 550 rescuers, using 80 units of equipment, are removing debris from the collapsed structure, as well as specialists with dogs trained to search for people under rubble, Interfax reported.

The building has been evacuated and its residents have been placed in a health center in Mezhdurechensk. Psychologists are working with them. 

At least 16 apartments have been affected, Interfax said citing Major General Alexander Mamontov, head of the Emergency Ministry in the Kemerovo region, who added that 26 people are registered as living in these flats.

There is so far no danger of further collapse of the building, a rescue service official told Rossiya 24 television. Parts of the house with separate entrances near the collapsed section have not been affected, he said, adding that rescue teams still have “to work very carefully.”

The cause of the collapse is currently under investigation.

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One possible reason for the collapse could be construction work in a ground floor shop in the building, during which the construction workers possibly pulled down a load-bearing wall, TASS said.

The workers have been reportedly detained, and a criminal investigation has been launched into alleged violations of safety rules during the construction.