Moscow gas leak explosion kills four

MOSCOW, Dec. 8 (UPI) -- An explosion on the top floor of a Moscow , apparently caused by a leak, has killed four people and sheared off a section of the building.

Five people were injured, two of them seriously, in the explosion that occurred Wednesday at 9:20 a.m. in a neighborhood northeast of the city center, The Moscow Times reported Thursday.

News media showed a hole three stories deep in the front of the seven-story red brick building, which dates from the Stalin era. Two were completely demolished and nine were seriously damaged. The stairway was destroyed.

Three bodies were initially discovered, but another body later was found in the rubble. The victims are three women aged 40, 65 and 70 and a man of about 50 years, Interfax reported Thursday.

One of the injured people was a school-age boy, whose were not serious, Moscow Mayor Yuri Luzhkov told reporters.

The apartment in which the explosion occurred was undergoing renovations and was believed to have been empty at the time.

City Prosecutor Anatoly Zuyev told reporters that a criminal case had been opened against the owner of the apartment on charges of causing damage through negligence.


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