MOSCOW, November 10. /TASS/. The death toll in the partial collapse of a residential building in the Urals city of Izhevsk has risen to six, an official with the local emergency response center told TASS.
Earlier in the day, a rescue source told TASS that the body of sixth victim had been pulled out of the rubble.
"According to the latest figures, six people lost their lives and three were injured. All of the injured are teenagers, one of them is in the hospital in moderately severe condition," the official said. "According to updated information, two residents of the building still remain unaccounted for. A search for them is under way."
A nine-storey residential building in Izhevsk partially collapsed at about 16:30 local time (15:30 Moscow time) on Thursday. According to initial reports, four people were killed as a result, one of them a child. A critically injured woman died in the hospital earlier on Friday.
To date, a 15-year-old girl remains hospitalized, while the other two teenagers are receiving out-patient treatment, a local health official said.
"Her condition is satisfactory. She was diagnosed with a concussion, but no intracranial hemorrhage. She is in the neurosurgery department," the source said. "It’s hard to tell how long her recovery will take, she needs to undergo a broader medical examination."
A spokesperson for the Russian Emergency Situations Ministry said the overall number of rescuers deployed to the site of the tragedy more than doubled in past hours, from about 500 to more than 1,000 as other regions have sent their rescue teams to Izhevsk.
"As of 1:00 Moscow time, more than 1,000 people and 185 pieces of hardware are involved in the rescue effort," the source said, adding that 650 of rescuers are the ministry’s officers.
Rescuers are currently trying to get access to areas, where sniffer dogs indicated the possible presence of humans.
"A dog led us to two spots," Regional Emergencies Service Chief Pyotr Fomin said. "However, it’s hard to access those areas due to loose slabs of concrete hanging overhead."
"Right now, the most dangerous stage of the rescue operation has begun,” he said. The official noted that rescuers have to remove the slabs, “one piece at a time." "This will take a long time," the rescue chief added.
According to Fomin, rescuers plan to complete the rubble clean-up by late Friday. After that, city construction experts will inspect the site to decide whether the building can be fixed or should be demolished.
A source in the local crisis center told TASS that 60% of the debris had been cleared by Friday morning.
"At the moment, more than 60% of the wreckage has been cleared, and the works continue," the source said, adding that the rescuers are working in shifts.
"The rubble on the ground floor level is being cleared away manually," he added.
Russian Emergencies Minister Vladimir Puchkov headed to Izhevsk to coordinate the rescue effort on Friday morning.