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Death toll in Sakhalin apartment building blast rises to nine — emergency services

The five-story building was built in 1980 and has 80 apartments

MOSCOW, November 19. /TASS/. The death toll in a blast that hit a five-story apartment building on Sakhalin Island in the Russian Far East has risen to nine people, the regional emergency services told TASS on Saturday.

"The death toll has risen to nine people and there are three children among them," the emergency services said.

Meanwhile, Sakhalin Region Governor Valery Limarenko wrote on his Telegram channel on Saturday that there were four children among those dead.

"Now the number of dead people has risen to nine. Four of them are children. It has now grown dark here but the rescue effort will continue at night," he said.

The regional emergency services reported that several more people remained under the rubble of the apartment building.

"Several people remain under the rubble. Now the effort to remove the collapsed structures continues," the emergency services said.

A powerful explosion rocked a five-story residential building in the settlement of Tymovskoye on Russia’s Far Eastern Sakhalin Island at around 5:03 a.m. Moscow time on Saturday. According to preliminary information, a gas cylinder exploded in one of its apartments, causing the floors in one of its sections to collapse. Rescue teams are working at the scene, with at least 13 vehicles and 59 rescuers involved in the effort.

The five-story building was built in 1980 and has 80 apartments. It was not connected to centralized gas supply infrastructure. It underwent its major overhaul in 2016.

A temporary shelter has been created, offering beds, hot meals and other necessary items to affected residents.