Russian apartment collapse death toll hits 33

Jim Heintz
Associated Press

Moscow – Search crews in Russia pulled more bodies Wednesday from a huge pile of rubble where part of an apartment building collapsed, bringing the known death toll to 33 and the number of missing residents down to eight as the grim recovery work continued for a third night.

This photo provided by the Russian Emergency Situations Ministry taken from tv footage shows Emergency Situations employees work at the scene of a collapsed section of an apartment building, in Magnitigorsk, Russia, Wednesday, Jan. 2, 2019.

A 3-year-old girl was among the latest victims of the collapse in the Russian city of Magnitogorsk, Russian news agencies reported, citing the Russian emergencies ministry. The people found dead since the Monday morning collapse so far include six children.

This photo provided by the Russian Emergency Situations Ministry taken from tv footage shows Emergency Situations employees save a 10 month old baby at the scene of a collapsed section of an apartment building.

An 11-month-old boy who brought a burst of hope when he was discovered alive Tuesday ,nearly 36 hours after the collapse, was in serious but stable condition at a Moscow children’s hospital after traveling about 870 miles in a plane dispatched by the Russian Health Ministry.

The scene of a part of a collapsed apartment building in Magnitogorsk, a city of 400,000 people, about 1,400 kilometers (870 miles) southeast of Moscow, Russia, Monday, Dec. 31, 2018.

Health Minister Veronika Skvortsova said the infant suffered superficial head wounds but no apparent brain damage.

The prospects of finding more survivors appeared dim as the rescue effort continued from Monday’s pre-dawn accident, which came after an explosion that officials say was likely caused by a gas leak. Overnight temperatures of around minus 4 degrees.

However, a cat was pulled alive from the wreckage on Wednesday afternoon, about 60 hours after the disaster.

Emergency Situations employees work at damaged parts of a collapsed apartment building in Magnitogorsk, Russia, Tuesday, Jan. 1, 2019.

A day of mourning was declared in the Chelyabinsk region that includes Magnitogorsk, and residents laid flowers and placed candles at the scene. Some Muscovites laid commemorative flowers at the the regional government’s representative office.