High rise collapse kills 2 in Russian Federation

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Russia's emergencies ministry told news agencies it could have caused by gas.

At least four people are dead and dozens missing after a suspected gas explosion ripped through an apartment building in southern Russian Federation on Monday, state media reported.

Citing the emergencies ministry, RIA news agency said 110 people lived in the building, and 48 apartments had been damaged.

President Vladimir Putin rushed to the Urals city of Magnitogorsk, where the blast left hundreds of residents homeless in freezing temperatures on New Year's Eve - the biggest holiday of the year in Russian Federation.

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Almost 1,400 rescuers were searching for those who could have been buried under debris in temperatures of -17 degrees Celsius (1.4 degrees Fahrenheit), which are forecast to plunge to -24 degrees Celsius (-17 degrees Fahrenheit) overnight.

Emergency officials said they were racing against time since the frigid weather reduced the chances of finding anyone alive.

Seventy-nine people remain unaccounted for at this stage, believed to be trapped in the rubble, while three others have been confirmed dead.

Russian President Vladimir Putin has dispatched Health Minister Veronika Skvortsova to Magnitogorsk.

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Emergency workers have evacuated residents of nearby sections of the building, fearing they could also tumble down.

Cabinet officials were heading to the city to oversee the rescue efforts.

Staff from the local Magnitogorsk Iron and Steel Works (MMK), one of the country's largest steelmakers, took part in the rescue operation.

People look at the scene of a collapsed apartment building in Magnitogorsk.

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