CHELYABINSK, December 31. /TASS/. The death toll in a gas explosion in a house in Russia’s Urals city of Magnitogorsk has grown to three, the Crisis Management Center of the Russian Emergencies Ministry’s regional branch said on Monday.
"As of 9.50 a.m. (4:50 GMT) six people have been pulled out of the rubble, three died, three were injured, including a child," the statement said.
The gas explosion is believed to be a key cause of the accident, the Federal Security Service’s branch in the Chelyabinsk Region said.
An entrance hall in the apartment building collapsed. The rescue and search effort is underway, involving 469 personnel and 66 pieces of equipment.
The fate of 79 people remains unknown, Deputy Governor of the Chelyabinsk Region Oleg Klimov said.
Russian Health Minister Veronika Skvortsova is heading to Magnitogorsk at the instruction of Russian President Vladimir Putin.