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Russian gov't allocates $2.2 mln to purchase apartments for Magnitogorsk collapse victims

Russin Prime Minister Dmitry Medvedev also noted that "all necessary steps have been taken" in respect of the injured and wished a speedy recovery to them

GORKI, January 9. /TASS/. The Russian government has allocated 147 mln rubles ($2.2 mln) for the purchase of apartments for the residents of two sections of a partially collapsed high-rise block in the Urals city of Magnitogorsk, Prime Minister Dmitry Medvedev said at a meeting on efforts to deal with the accident’s aftermath.

"Now we need to provide consistent assistance to those who have been left homeless, first and foremost, to the residents of sections seven and eight. There are 101 families, they will receive financial support for housing purposes," he said, adding that "a total of 147 mln rubles have been allocated to that end from the government’s reserve fund."

Medvedev also said that if a need arose, the federal authorities would provide additional assistance to the building’s residents.

When speaking about the medical treatment of the injured, Medvedev noted that "all necessary steps have been taken." He wished a speedy recovery to those injured.

According to Chelyabinsk Region Governor Boris Dubrovsky, who participated in the meeting via a video link, "147 mln rubles will be enough to provide new housing to the people in accordance with rules and regulations." "We will give all of them a chance to choose apartments they like and then we will pay the sellers," he said, adding that it would be possible to choose either new or resale apartments so the issue would be solved in the shortest possible time.

Dubrovsky noted that more than 93 mln rubles ($1.4 mln) had been allocated from the regional budget and about half of the money had been paid out to those affected by the accident.

The regional governor also pointed to large-scale housing construction in Magnitogorsk, noting that there were enough apartments on the market.

Deputy Prime Minister Vitaly Mutko, in turn, said that the residents of the building’s fifth and sixth sections had temporarily moved out of their homes, which would be thoroughly inspected in the near future. Mutko said that the documents for the provision of additional assistance to the residents of the partially collapsed building would make it possible to revert to the issue if apartments in sections five and six proved uninhabitable.

A section of a ten-storey apartment block collapsed in Magnitogorsk on the morning of December 31 following a household gas explosion. The accident killed 39.