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28 Feb, 2012 07:49

Apartment block collapse: Death toll rises to 10

The death toll from the collapse of an apartment block in the southern Russian city of Astrakhan has risen to ten. Over 10 are still missing.

Emergency workers say they have located ten bodies but have so far been able to extract only two. Identification of the bodies is underway. Meanwhile, rescue workers are continuing to sift through the rubble for the missing.A total of 26 people have so far been rescued. Two children were among 15 people injured. Five remain in hospital, some with serious fractures and other injuries. The Emergency Ministry has sent a second plane to Asktrakhan bringing more rescue officers and search dogs. The plane is equipped with two medical modules to facilitate the evacuation of the seriously injured.Russia’s Prime Minister has arrived in Astrakhan. Vladimir Putin has visited the site of the tragedy and met the blast victims. Putin has also inspected the apartment buildings which have been made available to house those whose homes were destroyed by the explosion.On Monday, the head of the government called an urgent meeting to sack those in charge and discuss possible compensation for the victims of the explosion.An entire section of a high-rise apartment block collapsed like a house of cards following a gas explosion on Monday.Four people have been detained by police for violation of fire safety rules following the blast.