Official: 9 dead in Ukraine gambling hall blast

An explosion and fire that tore through a gambling hall in eastern Ukraine early Thursday killed nine people, the country's top emergency official said. Emergency Situations Minister Volodymyr Shandra said 11 more were wounded in the explosion and ensuing fire at the hall, on the ground floor of a five-story building in the city of Dnipropetrovsk. A preliminary investigation showed a short circuit in one of the hall's many slot machines may have been to blame. In televised remarks from Dnipropetrovsk, Shandra stressed that other explanations - including a bomb - had not been ruled out. The deaths were caused by smoke inhalation, he said. The establishment is on the ground floor of a five-story building, local reports said.