The number of dead from a New Year’s Eve gas explosion in a Russian apartment block jumped to 38 on Thursday as rescuers recovered more bodies from the rubble of the partially collapsed building.
Russian news agencies quoted the emergencies ministry as saying a 38th body had been recovered, leaving only three people unaccounted for.
Rescuers have been braving temperatures as low as minus 27 degrees Celsius (minus 16 degrees Fahrenheit) to search through mangled concrete and metal at the site in the Ural mountains city of Magnitogorsk.
Six people including two children have been rescued at the site, but no survivors have been found since Tuesday when a 10-month-old boy was retrieved in what officials described as a “New Year’s miracle”.
The explosion tore through the 10-storey building in the industrial city nearly 1,700 kilometres east of Moscow in the early hours of Monday.
The Soviet-era block was home to about 1,100 people and the explosion destroyed 35 apartments, leaving dozens homeless.
Investigators have launched a probe, but have said there is no reason to suspect foul play.
Gas explosions are relatively common in Russia, where much of the infrastructure dates back to the Soviet era and safety requirements are often ignored.