Gas blast in Russian apartment building kills at least two


A gas explosion ripped through a two-story apartment building in southern Russia on Friday, killing two people, emergency officials said.

The blast in the Krasnodar region village of Elitny was the latest in a series of gas explosions that have killed some 20 people this year and prompted the prime minister to call for safety improvements.

Friday’s explosion tore a hole in the building, badly damaging two apartments, said Sergei Kozhemyaka, spokesman for the Emergency Situations Ministry’s southern regional headquarters.
The bodies of a 41-year-old woman and a 19-year-old man were found in the rubble, he said.

Five gas explosions over about a week last month killed 18 people.
Prime Minister Viktor Zubkov told authorities to examine the causes and improve safety. A government regulator blamed citizens who ignore safety precautions, such as people who use piped municipal gas meant for cooking to heat their apartments. (AP)