Several dead and many trapped in Russian apartment building gas blast

Staff writer

As many as 40 people could still be trapped in the rubble of a Russian apartment block that partially collapsed in a gas explosion on Monday, killing at least seven people, according to reports.

The blast, thought to have been caused by a gas leak, damaged 48 apartments in a nine-storey building in Magnitogorsk, an industrial city 1,050 miles east of Moscow.

President Vladimir Putin flew into Magnitogorsk late on Monday afternoon, visiting the injured in hospital and meeting with local authorities.