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Moscow market collapses under snow, at least 1 dead

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MOSCOW, Feb 23 (Reuters) A covered market in eastern Moscow collapsed today, apparently under the weight of snow piled on its roof, and emergency services said at least one person had been killed and six injured.

Television channels quoted police as putting the initial death toll at the market, in the Baumansky district of Moscow, at four with others trapped in the rubble.

The Emergencies Ministry, quoted by news agencies, said the accident occurred at 5.45 am (0815 hrs IST) as Moscow prepared to celebrate a national holiday marking Defenders of the Motherland day.

Russian news agencies said the main market building came crashing down across an area of 2,000 square metres.

''There are people in the ruins, it is thought. We have medical rescue teams on the spot and the fire brigade,'' a ministry spokesman said, adding that one person had been found dead and six others were pulled out injured.

''According to a preliminary version, a big snowfall is responsible,'' the spokesman said.

REUTERS CS SP1122

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