Explosion rips through apartment building in Russia’s south

An explosion ripped through the first storey of an apartment building in Sochi, a city on Russia’s Black Sea coast. The explosion occurred at 5:00 a.m. June 2. Three stair-ways collapsed in the 12-storeyed building as a result of the explosion.

The details of the incidents are being investigated.

The explosion killed at least two people – a 67-year-old woman and a 14-year-old boy, reportedly the woman’s grandchild.

Rescuers say that there was no gas provided in the building. All the apartments in the building have electric stoves. There was no ignition after the explosion.

Rescuers are currently working on the site of the incident, evacuating the tenants and clearing the rubble.

Eleven people asked for medical help, one of them was hospitalized. Others received medical aid at the site.

Local law-enforcement agencies investigate all versions of the incident, including a terrorist act. Police officers say that some tenants of the building could illegally use natural gas in their apartments for cooking. Several gas cylinders and a smashed gas stove have been found under the rubble.

Sochi is a Russian resort city situated in the Krasnodar region of the country. It sprawls along the shores of the Black Sea against the background of the snow-capped peaks of the Caucasus Mountains. At 145 km (90 mi), Greater Sochi is claimed to be the longest city in Europe. As of the 2002 Census, it had a population 328,809, down from 336,514 recorded in the 1989 Census. In 2006, the population was estimated to be 395,012. The city has been selected to host the XXII Olympic Winter Games in 2014.