A loud explosion occurred in Minsk's Serabranka district at 5:00 p.m. on February 23.
The blast took place on the eighth storey in the block of flats on 85 Plekhanava Street. The Emergency Ministry says it was a gas explosion. A fire started in several flats on the top eighth floor, BelTA news agency reports.
A rescue team immediately arrived. Acrid smoke blanketed a half of the district. Police blocked traffic on Plyakhanau Street for an hour.
“Firefighters began to evacuate people and extinguish the fire. The gas and smoke protection team rescued nine people and evacuated 22 during some minutes,” Emergency Ministry spokesman Vitaly Navitski said. Two bodies were found in one of the flats.
Vitaly Dembowski, the assistant of the head of the Emergency Ministry's Minsk city department, says the blast destroyed partition walls in two flats at an area of 30 square metres. People were allowed to return home only at 7:30 p.m. Recovery works ended at 10:00 p.m., onliner.by reports.
“Rescuers install brace poles on the seventh and eighths floors,” Vitaly Dembovski said.
Five people sought medical attention. Four received medical assistance at the scene (scratches and arterial hypertension), one person was taken to hospital with combustion products poisoning.