ROSTOV-ON-DON, December 28. /TASS/. Various versions including that of an explosive device are being mooted as investigators probe the blast that ripped through an apartment building in the southern Russian city of Volgograd on December 20, a senior local official told a news conference on Monday.
"When we started examining wall and door elements and remains of the dead, criminal experts raised some questions," said Igor Oder, heading the southern regional centre of the Russian Ministry for Emergency Situations, adding that the possibility of an explosive blast had surfaced three days after an event initially deemed a household gas incident.
"Was there an explosive device or some liquid? It is unclear," Oder said. "War weapons were found in the garage (owned by the tenant of the apartment where the blast occurred) that he had been retrieving, digging out somewhere. People said they had seen the individual entering the apartment building with a canister containing liquid."
The explosion wrecked the seventh floor of the nine-storey block, causing the building’s outer wall from the second to the ninth floor to collapse.
Fire followed across an area of 30 square metres. Twelve residents were hurt in the explosion and taken to hospital. Six have been discharged. Four bodies were retrieved from under the debris.