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At least one person killed and five injured in popular Russian Black Sea resort town as gas explosion destroys hotel building

An investigation has been launched in the Russian resort town of Gelendzhik, after a first-floor gas explosion at a hotel killed at least one person and injured five more, including a child, sending victims to intensive care.

Gelendzhik, located on the Black Sea, is a popular summer tourist destination for Russian domestic travel.

The explosion took place at the four-story Azaria Hotel in the center of city, causing around 50 people to be evacuated from the building. According to the Ministry of Emergency Situations, following the blast, one woman had to be pulled from the rubble after being trapped under the hotel.

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According to the Investigative Committee, the accident killed one man who was passing by on the street, and injured five more, including three men, one woman and one child. All of them were taken to the hospital with burns and other injuries.

The local mayor, Aleksey Bogodistov, revealed that the explosion had occurred in a small shop on the ground floor of the three-star hotel building.

Regional governor Veniamin Kondratyev has ordered all guests to be resettled into different accommodation.

Gelendzhik made worldwide news earlier this year, when a video produced by imprisoned opposition figure Alexey Navalny and his now-disbanded group the Anti-Corruption Foundation alleged that Russian President Vladimir Putin owned a secret private retreat in the area. The documentary has so far had more than 117 million views on YouTube. The Kremlin has completely denied that Putin owns the so-called palace.

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