KIEV, Oct 13 (Reuters) A gas explosion tore through an apartment building in central Ukraine today, killing at least six people and injuring many others, with the casualty toll likely to rise, officials said.
A spokesman for Ukraine's Emergencies Ministry said the 11 a m local time blast in a 10-storey block of flats, part of a big complex of buildings in the city of Dnipropetrovsk, sent rubble cascading down on residents.
''One section of the building has been destroyed,'' the spokesman said.
''For the moment, six bodies have been recovered. There are many more injured and casualty figures are sure to rise.'' A local television correspondent reached at the site said 18 residents had been brought out of the building alive.
''Rescue teams are passing injured residents through windows and balconies as the entrance is blocked with rubble,'' Olena Usenko of 1+1 television said by telephone.
She said residents had summoned city technicians after complaining of a strong smell of gas. The explosion occurred soon after.
Accidents linked to domestic gas explosions happen often in the former Soviet Union, sometimes causing large loss of life.
REUTERS PD KN1640