Russia: 4 dead in apartment collapse, apparent gas explosion

Russia: 4 dead in apartment collapse, apparent gas explosion
This photo provided by the Russian Emergency Situations Ministry taken from tv footage shows Emergency Situations employees working at the scene of a collapsed section of an apartment building, in Magnitigorsk, Russia, Monday, Dec. 31, 2018. Dozens of people are believed to be under the rubble after a gas explosion in a house in Russia's Urals city of Magnitogorsk, Governor of the Chelyabinsk Region said on Monday.(Russian Ministry for Emergency Situations photo via AP)

MOSCOW (AP) — Russian emergency officials say that at least four people have died after sections of an apartment building collapsed after an apparent gas explosion in the Ural Mountains region.

The authorities say four others have been hospitalized with injuries, and 68 other residents remained unaccounted for in the accident in Magnitogorsk, a city of 400,000 about 1,400 kilometers (870 miles) southeast of Moscow. They say some residents could have been buried under debris after Monday’s accident.

The Investigative Committee said the collapse of a section of the ten-storey apartment 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.