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. Last Updated: 07/27/2016

Natural Gas Explosion Kills 1

A natural gas explosion killed one person and destroyed six apartments in a building in Russia's Ural Mountain region Friday, the Ministry of Emergency Situations said.

The blast late Thursday blew out walls and destroyed a stairway in the five-story building in Nizhny Tagil, an industrial city about 1,350 kilometers east of Moscow, said ministry spokesman Viktor Beltsov.

Russia's RTR television station showed a building with smoke wafting from doorways and windows. Several large concrete panels had been blown away from the facade. One other resident of the building was hospitalized in critical condition, the report said.

The blast was the latest in a series of explosions in Russian apartment buildings. Many of them have been blamed on aging infrastructure and residents' storage of natural gas in flimsy canisters.

Police inspector Alexander Derkach told NTV television that a preliminary investigation indicated one of the residents of the apartment building had tried to rig up a makeshift pipe to filch gas.