Gas explosion wrecks apartment block in Samara

At least four people have been taken to hospital after a gas explosion ripped apart an apartment building in the Russian city of Samara.

It's believed the explosion took place on the second floor of the five-storey block, leading to a partial collapse of the brick building.

One of the four people injured is in a serious condition with 95 per cent burns. 

It is thought that around 40 people were living in the building, which is divided into 21 flats.

Investigators say a gas leak is the most likely cause of the explosion. 

A criminal case has been opened on suspicion that safety regulations may have been breached.

Around 150 workers are involved in the clean-up operation.