Household gas blast kills 5 in apartment block in Russia's Far East

Officials in Russia say five people have been killed in a night-time blast of household gas in an apartment block in the country's Far East.

The government of the Khabarovsk region said in a statement on Friday that the rescue operation for people who could be trapped under the debris continues in the small town of Korfovsky. Five bodies have been pulled out so far from the debris and three people were taken to hospital, including a three-year old child, after the blast ripped through the stairwell of a three-story building late at night on Thursday.

Television footage from the scene showed an entire section of the apartment block lying in ruins.

Authorities said they are looking into a household gas blast as a possible cause.