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16 Oct, 2007 01:32

Ukraine mourns gas blast dead

Leaders of Ukraine's Orange parties have signed a coalition deal a day earlier than originally planned, as Tuesday was declared a day of mourning after 16 people were killed, and at least 17 injured, by a gas explosion on Saturday.

The blast destroyed much of the ten-storey building in a town in the eastern part of the country. It is believed to have been caused by a malfunction at a gas distribution station. 

Seventeen victims, including three children, remain hospitalised, while others are still missing and may be buried under the rubble.  

Gas explosions in apartment buildings, resulting from improper usage and outdated equipment, are regular occurrences in the states of the former Soviet Union.