Death toll in Russian building collapse rises to 38

A large section of the building collapsed after a gas explosion in the central Russian city of Magnitogorsk

Thirty-seven bodies have been recovered from the rubble of a Russian apartment building that partially collapsed this week after an apparent gas explosion, Russian news agencies reported on Thursday.

Six people - including an infant whose rescue has been called a miracle - were pulled alive from the rubble of the building and hospitalized.

Hundreds of rescue workers raced bitterly cold weather in Russia's Ural Mountains region Monday as they searched for survivors in the hulking concrete blocks from a partially collapsed apartment building where at least four people died.

But the prospects of finding any of them alive in the rubble appeared dim after two frigid nights in which temperatures fell to about minus 20 degrees Celsius (minus 4 degrees Fahrenheit).

Explosions caused by gas leaks in poorly built and indifferently maintained buildings occur often in Russian Federation, but the Magnitogorsk disaster claimed an unusually high number of lives. According to the BBC, the Russian health ministry said Ivan suffered severe frostbite to his limbs, multiple leg fractures and a head injury but was conscious.

The regional emergency minister said on Tuesday that 37 residents of the building were still missing.

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The process of identifying the bodies is expected to continue, as well as rescue operations.

Wednesday has been announced a day of mourning in the Chelyabinsk Region for the victims of the awful incident.

Almost two dozen people were still missing following the explosion, which destroyed 35 apartments in the high-rise in the city of Magnitogorsk in the Ural mountains.

Russian President Vladimir Putin visited the site in the hours after the disaster, as did Alexander Bastrykin, chairman of the Investigative Committee of Russia.

The vehicle explosion took place about 2.5 kilometers (1.5 miles) from the apartment block. The initial reports put a possible gas leak behind the collapse. Police said the minibus was carrying gas canisters but have given few other details.

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