Blast kills at least nine on Russian island of Sakhalin

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A gas blast in an apartment building has killed at least nine people, including four children, on the island of Sakhalin in far eastern Russia, local authorities said.

A section of the five-storey building in the town of Tymovskoye collapsed after a gas cylinder exploded in one of the apartments at around 5.30am Moscow time on Saturday, they said.

Rescue teams are searching for more victims under the rubble, Sakhalin governor Valery Limarenko wrote on Telegram.

Some of the 33 people known to have lived in the building remained unaccounted for, he said.

Sakhalin is in the Pacific Ocean, north of Japan.

According to Mr Limarenko, residents affected by the explosion have been offered temporary shelter and families who have lost their homes will be paid 500,000 roubles (£6,908).

Relatives of the people killed can expect to receive one million rubles (£13,816), he said.

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