Moscow: Roof collapse death toll rises to 49

February 23, 2006 16:39

The death toll from the collapse of the concave, snow-covered roof of a large Moscow market early Thursday rose to at least 49 people as of Thursday afternoon. Rescuers cleared away concrete slabs and metal beams to reach possible survivors trapped in the wreckage, officials said. A fire broke out on the edge of the collapse site mid-afternoon, sending acrid smoke billowing into the air. Emergency Situations Ministry spokesman Viktor Beltsov said it erupted when a spark from an electric saw used to cut through metal ignited some paint, and that it posed no threat to anyone trapped in the wreckage.

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