At least four people have been killed and dozens missing after a suspected gas explosion ripped through an apartment building in southern Russia on Monday, state media reported.
The blast, thought to have been caused by a gas leak, damaged 48 apartments in a nine-storey building in Magnitogorsk which is approximately 1,000 miles east of Moscow in the Ural mountains. Five people have also been taken to hospital after the incident in the city.
Russian President Vladimir Putin rushed to the city on Monday afternoon, as search and rescue efforts for people still trapped inside continued. More than 400 emergency workers were sifting through the rubble.
Some of the volunteers offered money, clothing and essentials to the victims, and they were ready to provide temporary shelter to them.
The regional governor of the city, Boris Dubrovsky said they planned to buy apartments for people who had lost their homes.
Gas blasts have become a relatively common occurrence in Russia in recent years as the country struggles to cope with aging infrastructure and poor safety regulations regarding gas usage.
> Shiuly Rina