No Filipino hurt in Russia apartment blast – Philippine Embassy

January 02, 2019
Bear and Candle
A picture taken on January 2, 2019 shows toys on the ground for a makeshift memorial two days after a gas explosion rocked a residential building in Russia's Urals city of Magnitogorsk. Rescuers hunted for survivors Wednesday in the rubble of a Russian apartment building hit by a New Year's Eve gas explosion, but found only bodies as the number of confirmed dead rose to 18. Nearly two dozen people were still missing following the explosion, which destroyed 35 apartments in the high-rise in the city of Magnitogorsk in the Ural mountains. - / AFP / STR

NO Filipino was among the fatalities of the explosion that hit an apartment building in Magnitogorsk, Chelyabinsk Oblast, the Philippine Embassy in Moscow said.

Fourteen people were confirmed dead from the New Year’s Eve explosion at a high-rise in central Russia, as rescuers continued to pull bodies from the rubble.

The local governor’s office said 14 bodies had been found and 27 people were unaccounted for following the gas explosion.

Five people had been rescued from the rubble, including a baby, and 86 residents were located unharmed.

“Work at the scene is continuing,” it said.

Battling freezing temperatures, rescuers have been combing through piles of mangled concrete and metal and trying to stabilize what remains of the walls in the Soviet-era apartment block, which had been home to about 1,100 people.

The blast destroyed 35 apartments and damaged 10 more, leaving dozens of people homeless over the New Year.

Philippine Ambassador Carlos Sorreta extended sympathies to the Russian government and to the families of the victims.

“We hope and pray for the quick recovery of those injured and for the safety of the first responders and recovery teams,” he said.

The blast happened before dawn on December 31 when the block’s tenants were asleep.

The Embassy continues to “closely monitor” the situation.

With AFP