Baby boy found alive in rubble of Russian apartment explosion
MAGNITOGORSK, Chelyabinsk Oblast — A baby boy was plucked alive Tuesday from the rubble of an apartment building leveled a day earlier by a suspected gas explosion in the Russian city of Magnitogorsk.
Dramatic footage released by Russia’s Emergency Situations Ministry showed rescue workers pulling away debris to reveal the child — described as “less than a year old.”
The boy, covered in dust and wearing a top and pink socks, is wrapped in a blanket before being taken to a medical facility. His condition is “serious,” the ministry said in a statement. At least eight people were killed after the explosion ripped through the apartment block.
The infant, who would have endured freezing temperatures, was found after one of the rescue workers heard a baby crying, the statement added. Reuters said he spent 35 hours in the elements.
Rescue dogs initially probed the site, at first without discovering the boy, said the ministry. But as workers continued to dig further into the collapsed building he was discovered, pale and blinking among the debris.
The boy’s mother is alive and has come to the hospital, the ministry said. The circumstances of her discovery were not immediately known.
Thirty-six residents are still missing from the high-rise, home to about 120 people, the ministry said.
The baby is the fifth person pulled alive from the collapsed block in Magnitogorsk, an industrial city in Russia’s Chelyabinsk region near the border with Kazakhstan.
Hundreds of emergency workers are sifting through the rubble, continuing a complex operation to dismantle structures around the collapsed block.
Gas blasts have become a relatively common occurrence in Russia over recent years as the country struggles to cope with aging Soviet-era infrastructure and loose safety requirements, according to Reuters.