Nine dead after suspected gas blast in far eastern Russia

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A suspected gas explosion early Saturday in a five-storey residential building killed nine people in Russia's southeastern Sakhalin island, the local governor said.

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The blast occurred in a brick building built in the 1980s in the village of Tymovskoye, TASS news agency reported.

“Nine people were killed, including four children,” the region’s governor Valery Limarenko told the Rossia 24 television channel.

The emergencies ministry said preliminary information pointed to a gas leak, adding that many storeys had collapsed.

Images aired on television showed a white building with brown balconies that was partly demolished.

The emergencies ministry said 60 rescuers had been deployed.

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