6 killed in Russia gas explosion

2012-02-28 13:00

Mosco - Officials say at least six people have been killed and 12 were injured after a section of a nine-storey apartment building in southern Russia collapsed following a natural gas explosion.

Anzhelika Barinova of Russia's Emergency Situations Ministry says another five people are missing after Monday's explosion in Astrakhan, 1 300km southeast of Moscow.

On Tuesday, several hundred rescuers are searching through the debris for those missing.

Prime Minister Vladimir Putin ordered local gas company officials be suspended pending an official probe.

Explosions caused by leaky gas pipes and canisters in Russian apartment buildings are common.