Gas explosion in Russian shopping center kills 24

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Monday, July 11, 2005

The Komi Republic in Northern Russia

An explosion at a shopping center in the northern Russian city of Ukhta has resulted in several fatalities, a fire and dozens of injuries. Rescuers raised the death toll to 24 on Tuesday. At least 30 people have been injured.

The explosion occurred in a shop called "Passazh" at 1:58pm local time (9:58am UTC). Local police have said that the explosion was caused by a gas canister.

Ukhta is an important industrial city in the Komi Republic of northwestern Russia. Its population is around 100,000 and is located near rich gas and oil reserves.