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Putin arrives at scene of deadly Urals gas blast amid race to save people in freezing cold (VIDEO)

Putin arrives at scene of deadly Urals gas blast amid race to save people in freezing cold (VIDEO)
Cutting short his trip to Sochi, President Vladimir Putin arrived on the scene of the devastating gas blast in the city of Magnitogorsk, where rescuers are working against time to pull the trapped people from under debris in -20C.

Arriving at the site of the blast in the southern Urals, some 1,700km east of Moscow, the Russian leader was briefed on how the powerful explosion ripped through the residential building, trapping up to forty people under the rubble. Putin has urged the Chelyabinsk Region governor to spare no resources in helping the families affected by the blast who ended up with no roof over their heads on New Year’s Eve.

Putin then visited the survivors of the explosion at a local hospital, and talked to a young victim of the blast.

Seven people have been confirmed killed in the disaster, with dozens still missing – including children. The rescue efforts are aggravated by minus 20 Celsius temperatures, due to sink even lower overnight.

The rescue efforts are aggravated by minus 20 Celsius temperatures which are due to sink even lower overnight.

READ MORE: 7 killed, dozens missing after gas blast partially destroys residential building in Russia (VIDEOS)

The tragedy took place before dawn when most of the residents were asleep ahead of arguably the most popular holiday night in Russia. The blast, which is thought to have been caused by a gas leak, left at least 10 apartments heavily damaged and 25 completely destroyed.

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