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VOLGOGRAD, December 20. /TASS/. The number of those hurt in a household gas explosion at a residential house in Volgograd has risen to 11 after three more people were taken to hospital, Natalia Kunitskaya, a spokeswoman for the regional department of the Russian Investigations Committee, told TASS on Sunday.
According to earlier reports, eight people, including two children, were taken to hospital after the blast. "Three more people have been hospitalized. Now we are getting in contact with the regional health authorities to identify these people," she said.
The regional health authorities however did not tell TASS how make people had been hurt in the blast but said that one rescuer had been taken to hospital after being hurt by a falling building component while extinguishing fire.
Oleg Sagalay, director of public health department of the Russian Health Ministry, told TASS earlier that the ministry’s chief toxicologist Yuri Ostapenko had been commissioned by Minister Veronika Skvortsova to hold a Skype consultation.
Meanwhile, the city’s health authorities said two of the injured persons were in grave condition.
Rescuers said they would continue the search and rescue operation into the night.
The explosion took place on Sunday at the seventh floor of a nine-storey residential building. According to preliminary information, two blasts were heard. The building’s outer wall from the second to the ninth floor collapsed after the blast. The explosion was followed by fire on an area of 30 square meters. According to preliminary data, the blast was caused by either a gas leak or violation of safety rule while operating gas equipment in repair works. A criminal case was opened.