Gas explosion in eastern Ukraine kills 9

Other News Materials 13 October 2007 21:00

( AP ) - A powerful natural gas explosion ripped through an apartment building in eastern Ukraine on Saturday, killing at least nine people and damaging other buildings, an emergency official said.

The blast destroyed much of the 10-story building in the industrial city of Dnipropetrovsk, about 370 miles from the capital, Kiev, ripping off parts of the roof and blowing out dozens of windows.

Rescue workers have recovered nine bodies so far, said Alexander Dmiterko, who is with the regional Emergency Situations Ministry.

Russian and Ukrainian news reports said the blast was so powerful that its shock wave damaged several other multistory apartment buildings and smaller houses.

Natural gas explosions resulting from leaks in poorly maintained infrastructure or problems with canisters are common in the former Soviet Union, where gas is often used for heating and cooking.

Local gas company DnipropetrovskGorGaz said a sharp increase in gas pressure in the city system may have helped cause the blast, Interfax reported.