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Tajik Man Injured By Russian Building Collapse Regains Consciousness

His family has yet to tell Shuhrat Ulfatov that his wife and children died.

A Tajik man who was severely injured in the partial collapse of a residential complex in Russia on New Year's Eve has regained consciousness.

Shuhrat Ulfatov's relatives told RFE/RL that he came out of a coma late on January 10 and was able to communicate with representatives of Tajikistan's consulate in Yekaterinburg.

The 26-year-old Ulfatov was found in the rubble shortly after an explosion on December 31 sent a section of the 10-story building in Russia's southern Urals city of Magnitogorsk crashing to the ground, killing 39 people.

Ulfatov's 24-year-old wife and their three children were among those killed.

"The first thing he asked after he regained consciousness was about his wife and children," Ulfatov's uncle, Bahtiyor Sultonov, told RFE/RL on January 11. "We told him that they are fine. Now we are thinking about how to tell him what really happened to his loved ones."

Russian officials said on January 3 that the explosion was likely caused by a natural-gas leak.

Ulfatov's wife and children were buried in Tajikistan on January 7.