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ST. PETERSBURG, March 2 (Itar-Tass) —— The St. Petersburg government will not leave without any support the dwellers in a residential house, in which their flats were damaged in the gas blast that triggered a fire at the Harbin restaurant in the Krasnogvardeisky district of the city, St. Petersburg Governor Georgy Poltavchenko said on Friday.
“The city does not interfere in the situation, the city helps to people. A representative of the housing committee (of the St. Petersburg authorities) and the head of the city district are working at the fire site. The damages are being assessed to the residential house and it will be decided to evict people from the house or make the repairs,” the St. Petersburg governor said. “No one from blast-affected dwellers will be left without any support from the city authorities,” he noted.
The fire alarm call came at 11:23 Moscow time at the Chinese cuisine restaurant, which is located in a five-storey residential house on the right bank of the Neva River in front of the Smolny Cathedral. The gas cylinder explosion triggered the fire. The fire was ranked as highly dangerous, five water cannons were involved in the fire-fighting efforts. The fire has spread on the basement of the restaurant and a two-room flat on the second floor. The ceilings between the floors and the staircases between the first, second and third floors were partially damaged.
Some 19 people were evacuated from the burning building, eight of them were hospitalized with burns and carbon dioxide poisoning. Two of them are in heavy condition. It is not ruled out that the injured people are Chinese citizens, who worked at the restaurant. These reports are being specified.