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No traces of explosives found at collapsed house in Magnitogorsk – officials

No traces of explosives found at collapsed house in Magnitogorsk – officials
A probe of the debris from the collapsed house in Magnitogorsk has revealed no traces of explosives, Russia’s Investigative Committee said. However, all possible reasons for the deadly blast are now being considered, it added.

The experts concluded their probe at the site of the tragedy on Friday. “No traces of explosives compounds or their components have been discovered,” , spokeswoman Svetlana Petrenko said.

The investigators are currently “looking into all possible causes of the blast.” According to earlier information from the authorities, a gas leak was among the top theories for the tragedy that saw over 30 people killed.

TASS reported that investigators were seizing gas stoves and other gas-related equipment retrieved by the rescuers during their search for survivors.

A massive blast rocked an apartment block on Karl Marx Street early on December 31, destroying an entire 10-story section of the building.

The search and rescue operation concluded on site Thursday when the bodies of the two last victims were discovered. It went on for four days and saw 24 people saved. Eighteen residents were rescued in the first hours after the blast. Six more people, including two children, were found as emergency workers sifted through the rubble.

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The overall death toll of the tragedy reached 39 people, including six children. The first funerals of the victims took place in Magnitogorsk on Friday. Five of those affected in the collapse currently remain in the hospital in stable condition.

Technical experts will again examine the remaining sections of the building to determine if it is safe. Earlier, the decision was made to demolish two of the 12 sections of the apartment block that suffered the most damage.

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