The International Information Center for Structural Engineers

Monday, 07 January 2019 01:00cat

Apartment building collapse in Russia: 39 people dead

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Russian building partial collapse Russian building partial collapse

An apartment building in the city of Magnitogorsk, located 1400 km southeast of Moscow, partially collapsed causing 39 fatalities.

The failure of the 10-story building occurred on New Year's Eve. Out of the 100 apartments, 48 were damaged. Rescue teams worked very hard in search of survivors in a cold and hostile environment. The overnight forecast called for temperatures to drop as low as -24°C or -11 °F. Officials utilized heaters in an effort to raise the temperature in the area in order to mitigate the risk of hypothermia.

The Investigative Committee of Russia stated that the collapse was apparently caused due to a gas leak but the incident will be further investigated. Some people reported that they could smell gas in the area. Gas explosions are very common in Russia due to old infrastructure and inadequate safety standards.

The President of Russia, Vladimir Putin, visited the local hospital that accommodated injured residents. "You will get well soon, you are a fighter," he told to a 13-year old boy that suffered from head injuries and a frostbite.

Miraculously, a 10-month-old child was rescued from the debris about 35 hours after the incident. "Hundreds of people were waiting for the appearance of the injured child from under the rubble like a miracle. And the miracle happened... Tears drew in the eyes of the weather-beaten rescuers," officials stated. The child suffered severe freezer burn and a head injury. Fortunately, his mother had also survived the blast.



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