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Death Toll In Russian Building Collapse Rises To Eight


Prime Minister Vladimir Putin has flown to the southern Russian southern of Astrakhan, where at least eight people were killed in the collapse of a nine-story apartment building.

Emergency officials said at least two people are still unaccounted for after the building collapsed on February 27.

Putin -- who is seeking a third term as president in an election scheduled for March 4 -- personally inspected the damage caused by the collapse and ordered that the inhabitants of the entire building be given new homes.

Officials have blamed the collapse on a gas leak.

Four managers of the local gas company are being investigated on suspicion of failing to follow fire safety regulations.

Based on Interfax and AFP reports

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