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3 May, 2009 20:42

Gas blast kills eight in Siberia

Eight people, including two children, died on Sunday in a gas explosion at an apartment block in the Siberian city of Irkutsk.

Seven people – three men, three women and a child – received injuries, including burns.

The blast started a fire which spread throughout the building. A fire engine arrived on the scene within minutes but was unable to save the building.

Thirty one people lived in the block and at the time of the explosion 20 were at home. Just five people went uninjured.

It’s reported that the apartments had no gas supply, forcing residents to use gas canisters for cooking.

A governmental commission headed by acting Governor of Irkutsk Region, Sergey Sokol, has been set up to find out what caused the explosion and to provide aid to those affected by the tragedy.

Last year alone about 15,000 people died in Russia in fires, caused partly by poor safety measures.