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Gas Explosion Destroys Odessa Apartment Building

The blast occurred in Odessa (RFE/RL) 28 December 2005 -- A natural gas explosion ripped through an apartment building in the southern Ukrainian city of Odessa today, killing at least one person.

Officials said several other people, including children, might be trapped under tons of rubble.

The Emergency Situations Ministry said in a statement that rescuers had retrieved one body from the building in the Black Sea port city.

Most Ukrainian homes use natural gas for cooking and heating, and leaks are frequent in aging apartments and houses, killing and injuring scores of people each year.