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Building collapse causes deaths in Russia

The collapse of a section of the 10-storey building was apparently caused by a gas leak.

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A collapsed section of an apartment building in Magnitigorsk (Russian Ministry for Emergency Situations photo via AP)

A collapsed section of an apartment building in Magnitigorsk (Russian Ministry for Emergency Situations photo via AP)

A collapsed section of an apartment building in Magnitigorsk (Russian Ministry for Emergency Situations photo via AP)

At least four people have died after sections of an apartment building collapsed following an apparent gas explosion in Russia.

Authorities say four others are in hospital with injuries, and 68 other residents remain unaccounted for in the accident in Magnitogorsk, a city of 400,000 about 870 miles southeast of Moscow.

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Rescuers at the scene (AP Photo/Maxim Shmakov)

Rescuers at the scene (AP Photo/Maxim Shmakov)

Rescuers at the scene (AP Photo/Maxim Shmakov)

They say some residents could have been buried under debris after the accident.

The Investigative Committee said the collapse of a section of the 10-storey building was apparently caused by a gas leak. It happened before dawn when most residents were still asleep.

The Kremlin said that President Vladimir Putin has been briefed on the situation. Cabinet officials headed to Magnitogorsk to oversee the rescue efforts.

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The collapse is apparently the result of a gas explosion (AP Photo/Maxim Shmakov)

The collapse is apparently the result of a gas explosion (AP Photo/Maxim Shmakov)

The collapse is apparently the result of a gas explosion (AP Photo/Maxim Shmakov)

Emergency workers have evacuated residents of nearby sections of the building, fearing they could also tumble down.

Gas explosions in Russian homes and businesses are common, and they are usually blamed on neglect of safety rules or poor maintenance.

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