Russia: 4 die in building collapse; searchers race weather

Russia: 4 die in building collapse; searchers race weather
In this photo provided by www.verstov.info, people looking at the scene of a collapsed section of an apartment building in Magnitogorsk, a city of 400,000 people, about 1,400 kilometers (870 miles) southeast of Moscow, Russia, Monday, Dec. 31, 2018. Russian emergency officials say that at least four people have died after sections of the apartment building collapsed after an apparent gas explosion in the Ural Mountains region. (verstov.ru photo via AP) (Source: AP)

MOSCOW (AP) — Hundreds of rescue workers raced bitterly cold weather in Russia's Ural Mountains region Monday as they searched for survivors in the hulking concrete blocks from a partially collapsed apartment building where at least four people died.

The nation's top investigative agency, the Investigative Committee, said an explosion triggered by a gas leak apparently caused the pre-dawn collapse in the industrial city of Magnitogorsk. The New Year's Eve accident shocked Russians and marred the mood on the nation's most beloved holiday.

Authorities said five people were hospitalized with injuries and 35 others remained unaccounted for. Russian officials acknowledged that the odds of finding anyone alive in the debris looked increasingly slim given the extreme weather.

Nearly 1,400 rescue workers searched in temperatures of -17 degrees Celsius (1.4 degrees Fahrenheit). The overnight forecast called for temperatures to plunge to -24 degrees Celsius (-17 F) overnight.

"The chances are reducing with time," Health Minister Veronika Skvortsova responded curtly when pressed by reporters on the likelihood of finding trapped survivors. "But incredible stories do happen."

Emergency Situations employees working at the scene of a collapsed apartment building in Magnitogorsk, a city of 400,000 people, about 1,400 kilometers (870 miles) southeast of Moscow, Russia, Monday, Dec. 31, 2018. Russian emergency officials say that at least four people have died after sections of the apartment building collapsed after an apparent gas explosion in the Ural Mountains region. (AP Photo/Maxim Shmakov)
Emergency Situations employees working at the scene of a collapsed apartment building in Magnitogorsk, a city of 400,000 people, about 1,400 kilometers (870 miles) southeast of Moscow, Russia, Monday, Dec. 31, 2018. Russian emergency officials say that at least four people have died after sections of the apartment building collapsed after an apparent gas explosion in the Ural Mountains region. (AP Photo/Maxim Shmakov) (Source: Maxim Shmakov)
This photo provided by the Russian Emergency Situations Ministry taken from tv footage shows Emergency Situations employees working at the scene of a collapsed section of an apartment building, in Magnitigorsk, Russia, Monday, Dec. 31, 2018. Dozens of people are believed to be under the rubble after a gas explosion in a house in Russia's Urals city of Magnitogorsk, Governor of the Chelyabinsk Region said on Monday.(Russian Ministry for Emergency Situations photo via AP)
This photo provided by the Russian Emergency Situations Ministry taken from tv footage shows Emergency Situations employees working at the scene of a collapsed section of an apartment building, in Magnitigorsk, Russia, Monday, Dec. 31, 2018. Dozens of people are believed to be under the rubble after a gas explosion in a house in Russia's Urals city of Magnitogorsk, Governor of the Chelyabinsk Region said on Monday.(Russian Ministry for Emergency Situations photo via AP) (Source: AP)
Russian President Vladimir Putin attends a meeting of Emergency Situations headquarter at a collapsed apartment building in Magnitogorsk, a city of 400,000 people, about 1,400 kilometers (870 miles) southeast of Moscow, Russia, Monday, Dec. 31, 2018. At least four people died Monday when part of a 10-story apartment building collapsed in Russia's Ural Mountains region, and hundreds of rescuers searched for survivors under the rubble in the frigid weather. (Ilya Moskovets, Sputnik, TASS/Kremlin Pool Photo via AP)
Russian President Vladimir Putin attends a meeting of Emergency Situations headquarter at a collapsed apartment building in Magnitogorsk, a city of 400,000 people, about 1,400 kilometers (870 miles) southeast of Moscow, Russia, Monday, Dec. 31, 2018. At least four people died Monday when part of a 10-story apartment building collapsed in Russia's Ural Mountains region, and hundreds of rescuers searched for survivors under the rubble in the frigid weather. (Ilya Moskovets, Sputnik, TASS/Kremlin Pool Photo via AP) (Source: Ilya Moskovets)
This image provided by the Russian Emergency Situations Ministry taken from tv footage, shows Emergency Situations employees working at the scene of a collapsed section of an apartment building in Magnitogorsk, a city of 400,000 about 1,400 kilometers (870 miles) southeast of Moscow, Russia, Monday, Dec. 31, 2018. Russian emergency officials say that at least four people have died after sections of an apartment building collapsed after an apparent gas explosion in the Ural Mountains region. (Chelyabinsk Region Governor Press Service photo via AP)
This image provided by the Russian Emergency Situations Ministry taken from tv footage, shows Emergency Situations employees working at the scene of a collapsed section of an apartment building in Magnitogorsk, a city of 400,000 about 1,400 kilometers (870 miles) southeast of Moscow, Russia, Monday, Dec. 31, 2018. Russian emergency officials say that at least four people have died after sections of an apartment building collapsed after an apparent gas explosion in the Ural Mountains region. (Chelyabinsk Region Governor Press Service photo via AP) (Source: AP)
The scene of a part of a collapsed apartment building in Magnitogorsk, a city of 400,000 people, about 1,400 kilometers (870 miles) southeast of Moscow, Russia, Monday, Dec. 31, 2018. At least four people died Monday when sections of an apartment building collapsed after an apparent gas explosion in Russia's Ural Mountains region, officials said. (AP Photo/Maxim Shmakov)
The scene of a part of a collapsed apartment building in Magnitogorsk, a city of 400,000 people, about 1,400 kilometers (870 miles) southeast of Moscow, Russia, Monday, Dec. 31, 2018. At least four people died Monday when sections of an apartment building collapsed after an apparent gas explosion in Russia's Ural Mountains region, officials said. (AP Photo/Maxim Shmakov) (Source: Maxim Shmakov)
In this photo provided by Chelyabinsk Region Governor Press Service, Governor of the Chelyabinsk Region Boris Dubrovsky, center, speaks on the phone as Emergency Situations employees work at the scene of a collapsed apartment building, in Magnitogorsk, a city of 400,000 about 1,400 kilometers (870 miles) southeast of Moscow, Russia, Monday, Dec. 31, 2018. Russian emergency officials say that at least four people have died after sections of an apartment building collapsed after an apparent gas explosion in the Ural Mountains region. (Chelyabinsk Region Governor Press Service photo via AP)
In this photo provided by Chelyabinsk Region Governor Press Service, Governor of the Chelyabinsk Region Boris Dubrovsky, center, speaks on the phone as Emergency Situations employees work at the scene of a collapsed apartment building, in Magnitogorsk, a city of 400,000 about 1,400 kilometers (870 miles) southeast of Moscow, Russia, Monday, Dec. 31, 2018. Russian emergency officials say that at least four people have died after sections of an apartment building collapsed after an apparent gas explosion in the Ural Mountains region. (Chelyabinsk Region Governor Press Service photo via AP) (Source: AP)
This photo provided by www.verstov.info shows Emergency Situations employees working at the scene of a collapsed apartment building in Magnitogorsk, a city of 400,000 people, about 1,400 kilometers (870 miles) southeast of Moscow, Russia, Monday, Dec. 31, 2018. Russian emergency officials say that at least four people have died after sections of the apartment building collapsed after an apparent gas explosion in the Ural Mountains region. (verstov.ru photo via AP)
This photo provided by www.verstov.info shows Emergency Situations employees working at the scene of a collapsed apartment building in Magnitogorsk, a city of 400,000 people, about 1,400 kilometers (870 miles) southeast of Moscow, Russia, Monday, Dec. 31, 2018. Russian emergency officials say that at least four people have died after sections of the apartment building collapsed after an apparent gas explosion in the Ural Mountains region. (verstov.ru photo via AP) (Source: AP)
In this photo provided by www.verstov.info, Emergency Situations employees work at the scene of a collapsed apartment building in Magnitogorsk, a city of 400,000 people, about 1,400 kilometers (870 miles) southeast of Moscow, Russia, Monday, Dec. 31, 2018. Russian emergency officials say that at least four people have died after sections of the apartment building collapsed after an apparent gas explosion in the Ural Mountains region. (verstov.ru photo via AP)
In this photo provided by www.verstov.info, Emergency Situations employees work at the scene of a collapsed apartment building in Magnitogorsk, a city of 400,000 people, about 1,400 kilometers (870 miles) southeast of Moscow, Russia, Monday, Dec. 31, 2018. Russian emergency officials say that at least four people have died after sections of the apartment building collapsed after an apparent gas explosion in the Ural Mountains region. (verstov.ru photo via AP) (Source: AP)
Emergency Situations employees work at the scene of a collapsed apartment building in Magnitogorsk, a city of 400,000 people, about 1,400 kilometers (870 miles) southeast of Moscow, Russia, Monday, Dec. 31, 2018. Russian emergency officials say that at least four people have died after sections of the apartment building collapsed after an apparent gas explosion in the Ural Mountains region. (AP Photo/Maxim Shmakov)
Emergency Situations employees work at the scene of a collapsed apartment building in Magnitogorsk, a city of 400,000 people, about 1,400 kilometers (870 miles) southeast of Moscow, Russia, Monday, Dec. 31, 2018. Russian emergency officials say that at least four people have died after sections of the apartment building collapsed after an apparent gas explosion in the Ural Mountains region. (AP Photo/Maxim Shmakov) (Source: Maxim Shmakov)
Emergency Situations employees working at the scene of a collapsed apartment building in Magnitogorsk, a city of 400,000 people, about 1,400 kilometers (870 miles) southeast of Moscow, Russia, Monday, Dec. 31, 2018. Russian emergency officials say that at least four people have died after sections of the apartment building collapsed after an apparent gas explosion in the Ural Mountains region. (AP Photo/Maxim Shmakov)
Emergency Situations employees working at the scene of a collapsed apartment building in Magnitogorsk, a city of 400,000 people, about 1,400 kilometers (870 miles) southeast of Moscow, Russia, Monday, Dec. 31, 2018. Russian emergency officials say that at least four people have died after sections of the apartment building collapsed after an apparent gas explosion in the Ural Mountains region. (AP Photo/Maxim Shmakov) (Source: Maxim Shmakov)
This photo provided by the Russian Emergency Situations Ministry taken from tv footage shows Emergency Situations employees working at the scene of a collapsed section of an apartment building, in Magnitigorsk, a city of 400,000 about 1,400 kilometers (870 miles) southeast of Moscow, Russia, Monday, Dec. 31, 2018. Russian emergency officials say that at least four people have died after sections of an apartment building collapsed after an apparent gas explosion in the Ural Mountains region.(Russian Ministry for Emergency Situations photo via AP)
This photo provided by the Russian Emergency Situations Ministry taken from tv footage shows Emergency Situations employees working at the scene of a collapsed section of an apartment building, in Magnitigorsk, a city of 400,000 about 1,400 kilometers (870 miles) southeast of Moscow, Russia, Monday, Dec. 31, 2018. Russian emergency officials say that at least four people have died after sections of an apartment building collapsed after an apparent gas explosion in the Ural Mountains region.(Russian Ministry for Emergency Situations photo via AP) (Source: AP)
This photo provided by the Russian Emergency Situations Ministry taken from tv footage shows Emergency Situations employees working at the scene of a collapsed section of an apartment building, in Magnitigorsk, a city of 400,000 about 1,400 kilometers (870 miles) southeast of Moscow, Russia, Monday, Dec. 31, 2018. Russian emergency officials say that at least four people have died after sections of an apartment building collapsed after an apparent gas explosion in the Ural Mountains region.(Russian Ministry for Emergency Situations photo via AP)
This photo provided by the Russian Emergency Situations Ministry taken from tv footage shows Emergency Situations employees working at the scene of a collapsed section of an apartment building, in Magnitigorsk, a city of 400,000 about 1,400 kilometers (870 miles) southeast of Moscow, Russia, Monday, Dec. 31, 2018. Russian emergency officials say that at least four people have died after sections of an apartment building collapsed after an apparent gas explosion in the Ural Mountains region.(Russian Ministry for Emergency Situations photo via AP) (Source: AP)
Emergency Situations employees working at the scene of a collapsed apartment building in Magnitogorsk, a city of 400,000 people, about 1,400 kilometers (870 miles) southeast of Moscow, Russia, Monday, Dec. 31, 2018. Russian emergency officials say that at least four people have died after sections of the apartment building collapsed after an apparent gas explosion in the Ural Mountains region. (AP Photo/Maxim Shmakov)
Emergency Situations employees working at the scene of a collapsed apartment building in Magnitogorsk, a city of 400,000 people, about 1,400 kilometers (870 miles) southeast of Moscow, Russia, Monday, Dec. 31, 2018. Russian emergency officials say that at least four people have died after sections of the apartment building collapsed after an apparent gas explosion in the Ural Mountains region. (AP Photo/Maxim Shmakov) (Source: Maxim Shmakov)
This photo provided by the Russian Emergency Situations Ministry taken from tv footage shows Emergency Situations employees working at the scene of a collapsed section of an apartment building, in Magnitigorsk, a city of 400,000 about 1,400 kilometers (870 miles) southeast of Moscow, Russia, Monday, Dec. 31, 2018. Russian emergency officials say that at least four people have died after sections of an apartment building collapsed after an apparent gas explosion in the Ural Mountains region.(Russian Ministry for Emergency Situations photo via AP)
This photo provided by the Russian Emergency Situations Ministry taken from tv footage shows Emergency Situations employees working at the scene of a collapsed section of an apartment building, in Magnitigorsk, a city of 400,000 about 1,400 kilometers (870 miles) southeast of Moscow, Russia, Monday, Dec. 31, 2018. Russian emergency officials say that at least four people have died after sections of an apartment building collapsed after an apparent gas explosion in the Ural Mountains region.(Russian Ministry for Emergency Situations photo via AP) (Source: AP)
Emergency Situations employees working at the scene of a collapsed apartment building in Magnitogorsk, a city of 400,000 people, about 1,400 kilometers (870 miles) southeast of Moscow, Russia, Monday, Dec. 31, 2018. Russian emergency officials say that at least four people have died after sections of the apartment building collapsed after an apparent gas explosion in the Ural Mountains region. (AP Photo/Maxim Shmakov)
Emergency Situations employees working at the scene of a collapsed apartment building in Magnitogorsk, a city of 400,000 people, about 1,400 kilometers (870 miles) southeast of Moscow, Russia, Monday, Dec. 31, 2018. Russian emergency officials say that at least four people have died after sections of the apartment building collapsed after an apparent gas explosion in the Ural Mountains region. (AP Photo/Maxim Shmakov) (Source: Maxim Shmakov)
Emergency Situations employees working at the scene of a collapsed apartment building in Magnitogorsk, a city of 400,000 people, about 1,400 kilometers (870 miles) southeast of Moscow, Russia, Monday, Dec. 31, 2018. Russian emergency officials say that at least four people have died after sections of the apartment building collapsed after an apparent gas explosion in the Ural Mountains region. (AP Photo/Maxim Shmakov)
Emergency Situations employees working at the scene of a collapsed apartment building in Magnitogorsk, a city of 400,000 people, about 1,400 kilometers (870 miles) southeast of Moscow, Russia, Monday, Dec. 31, 2018. Russian emergency officials say that at least four people have died after sections of the apartment building collapsed after an apparent gas explosion in the Ural Mountains region. (AP Photo/Maxim Shmakov) (Source: Maxim Shmakov)
The scene of a park of a collapsed apartment building in Magnitogorsk, a city of 400,000 people, about 1,400 kilometers (870 miles) southeast of Moscow, Russia, Monday, Dec. 31, 2018. Russian emergency officials say that at least four people have died after sections of the apartment building collapsed after an apparent gas explosion in the Ural Mountains region. (AP Photo/Maxim Shmakov)
The scene of a park of a collapsed apartment building in Magnitogorsk, a city of 400,000 people, about 1,400 kilometers (870 miles) southeast of Moscow, Russia, Monday, Dec. 31, 2018. Russian emergency officials say that at least four people have died after sections of the apartment building collapsed after an apparent gas explosion in the Ural Mountains region. (AP Photo/Maxim Shmakov) (Source: Maxim Shmakov)
Emergency Situations employees gathered at the scene of a collapsed apartment building in Magnitogorsk, a city of 400,000 people, about 1,400 kilometers (870 miles) southeast of Moscow, Russia, Monday, Dec. 31, 2018. Russian emergency officials say that at least four people have died after sections of the apartment building collapsed after an apparent gas explosion in the Ural Mountains region. (AP Photo/Maxim Shmakov)
Emergency Situations employees gathered at the scene of a collapsed apartment building in Magnitogorsk, a city of 400,000 people, about 1,400 kilometers (870 miles) southeast of Moscow, Russia, Monday, Dec. 31, 2018. Russian emergency officials say that at least four people have died after sections of the apartment building collapsed after an apparent gas explosion in the Ural Mountains region. (AP Photo/Maxim Shmakov) (Source: Maxim Shmakov)
Emergency Situations employees work at the scene of a collapsed apartment building in Magnitogorsk, a city of 400,000 people, about 1,400 kilometers (870 miles) southeast of Moscow, Russia, Monday, Dec. 31, 2018. Russian emergency officials say that at least four people have died after sections of the apartment building collapsed after an apparent gas explosion in the Ural Mountains region. (AP Photo/Maxim Shmakov)
Emergency Situations employees work at the scene of a collapsed apartment building in Magnitogorsk, a city of 400,000 people, about 1,400 kilometers (870 miles) southeast of Moscow, Russia, Monday, Dec. 31, 2018. Russian emergency officials say that at least four people have died after sections of the apartment building collapsed after an apparent gas explosion in the Ural Mountains region. (AP Photo/Maxim Shmakov) (Source: Maxim Shmakov)
An Emergency Situations employee works at the scene of a collapsed apartment building in Magnitogorsk, a city of 400,000 people, about 1,400 kilometers (870 miles) southeast of Moscow, Russia, Monday, Dec. 31, 2018. Russian emergency officials say that at least four people have died after sections of the apartment building collapsed after an apparent gas explosion in the Ural Mountains region. (AP Photo/Maxim Shmakov)
An Emergency Situations employee works at the scene of a collapsed apartment building in Magnitogorsk, a city of 400,000 people, about 1,400 kilometers (870 miles) southeast of Moscow, Russia, Monday, Dec. 31, 2018. Russian emergency officials say that at least four people have died after sections of the apartment building collapsed after an apparent gas explosion in the Ural Mountains region. (AP Photo/Maxim Shmakov) (Source: Maxim Shmakov)
The scene of a collapsed apartment building in Magnitogorsk, a city of 400,000 people, about 1,400 kilometers (870 miles) southeast of Moscow, Russia, Monday, Dec. 31, 2018. Russian emergency officials say that at least four people have died after sections of the apartment building collapsed after an apparent gas explosion in the Ural Mountains region. (AP Photo/Maxim Shmakov)
The scene of a collapsed apartment building in Magnitogorsk, a city of 400,000 people, about 1,400 kilometers (870 miles) southeast of Moscow, Russia, Monday, Dec. 31, 2018. Russian emergency officials say that at least four people have died after sections of the apartment building collapsed after an apparent gas explosion in the Ural Mountains region. (AP Photo/Maxim Shmakov) (Source: Maxim Shmakov)
Emergency Situations employees working at the scene of a collapsed apartment building in Magnitogorsk, a city of 400,000 people, about 1,400 kilometers (870 miles) southeast of Moscow, Russia, Monday, Dec. 31, 2018. Russian emergency officials say that at least four people have died after sections of the apartment building collapsed after an apparent gas explosion in the Ural Mountains region. (AP Photo/Maxim Shmakov)
Emergency Situations employees working at the scene of a collapsed apartment building in Magnitogorsk, a city of 400,000 people, about 1,400 kilometers (870 miles) southeast of Moscow, Russia, Monday, Dec. 31, 2018. Russian emergency officials say that at least four people have died after sections of the apartment building collapsed after an apparent gas explosion in the Ural Mountains region. (AP Photo/Maxim Shmakov) (Source: Maxim Shmakov)
Emergency Situations employees working at the scene of a collapsed apartment building in Magnitogorsk, a city of 400,000 people, about 1,400 kilometers (870 miles) southeast of Moscow, Russia, Monday, Dec. 31, 2018. Russian emergency officials say that at least four people have died after sections of the apartment building collapsed after an apparent gas explosion in the Ural Mountains region. (AP Photo/Maxim Shmakov)
Emergency Situations employees working at the scene of a collapsed apartment building in Magnitogorsk, a city of 400,000 people, about 1,400 kilometers (870 miles) southeast of Moscow, Russia, Monday, Dec. 31, 2018. Russian emergency officials say that at least four people have died after sections of the apartment building collapsed after an apparent gas explosion in the Ural Mountains region. (AP Photo/Maxim Shmakov) (Source: Maxim Shmakov)
Emergency Situations employees working at the scene of a collapsed apartment building in Magnitogorsk, a city of 400,000 people, about 1,400 kilometers (870 miles) southeast of Moscow, Russia, Monday, Dec. 31, 2018. Russian emergency officials say that at least four people have died after sections of the apartment building collapsed after an apparent gas explosion in the Ural Mountains region. (AP Photo/Maxim Shmakov)
Emergency Situations employees working at the scene of a collapsed apartment building in Magnitogorsk, a city of 400,000 people, about 1,400 kilometers (870 miles) southeast of Moscow, Russia, Monday, Dec. 31, 2018. Russian emergency officials say that at least four people have died after sections of the apartment building collapsed after an apparent gas explosion in the Ural Mountains region. (AP Photo/Maxim Shmakov) (Source: Maxim Shmakov)
The scene of a part of a collapsed apartment building in Magnitogorsk, a city of 400,000 people, about 1,400 kilometers (870 miles) southeast of Moscow, Russia, Monday, Dec. 31, 2018. At least four people died Monday when sections of an apartment building collapsed after an apparent gas explosion in Russia's Ural Mountains region, officials said. (AP Photo/Maxim Shmakov)
The scene of a part of a collapsed apartment building in Magnitogorsk, a city of 400,000 people, about 1,400 kilometers (870 miles) southeast of Moscow, Russia, Monday, Dec. 31, 2018. At least four people died Monday when sections of an apartment building collapsed after an apparent gas explosion in Russia's Ural Mountains region, officials said. (AP Photo/Maxim Shmakov) (Source: Maxim Shmakov)
The scene of a part of a collapsed apartment building in Magnitogorsk, a city of 400,000 people, about 1,400 kilometers (870 miles) southeast of Moscow, Russia, Monday, Dec. 31, 2018. At least four people died Monday when sections of an apartment building collapsed after an apparent gas explosion in Russia's Ural Mountains region, officials said. (AP Photo/Maxim Shmakov)
The scene of a part of a collapsed apartment building in Magnitogorsk, a city of 400,000 people, about 1,400 kilometers (870 miles) southeast of Moscow, Russia, Monday, Dec. 31, 2018. At least four people died Monday when sections of an apartment building collapsed after an apparent gas explosion in Russia's Ural Mountains region, officials said. (AP Photo/Maxim Shmakov) (Source: Maxim Shmakov)
Emergency Situations employees working at the scene of a collapsed apartment building in Magnitogorsk, a city of 400,000 people, about 1,400 kilometers (870 miles) southeast of Moscow, Russia, Monday, Dec. 31, 2018. At least four people died Monday when sections of an apartment building collapsed after an apparent gas explosion in Russia's Ural Mountains region, officials said, and hundreds of rescuers are searching for survivors under the debris. (AP Photo/Maxim Shmakov)
Emergency Situations employees working at the scene of a collapsed apartment building in Magnitogorsk, a city of 400,000 people, about 1,400 kilometers (870 miles) southeast of Moscow, Russia, Monday, Dec. 31, 2018. At least four people died Monday when sections of an apartment building collapsed after an apparent gas explosion in Russia's Ural Mountains region, officials said, and hundreds of rescuers are searching for survivors under the debris. (AP Photo/Maxim Shmakov) (Source: Maxim Shmakov)
People look at the scene of a collapsed apartment building in Magnitogorsk, a city of 400,000 people, about 1,400 kilometers (870 miles) southeast of Moscow, Russia, Monday, Dec. 31, 2018. At least four people died Monday when sections of an apartment building collapsed after an apparent gas explosion in Russia's Ural Mountains region, officials said, and hundreds of rescuers are searching for survivors under the debris. (AP Photo/Maxim Shmakov)
People look at the scene of a collapsed apartment building in Magnitogorsk, a city of 400,000 people, about 1,400 kilometers (870 miles) southeast of Moscow, Russia, Monday, Dec. 31, 2018. At least four people died Monday when sections of an apartment building collapsed after an apparent gas explosion in Russia's Ural Mountains region, officials said, and hundreds of rescuers are searching for survivors under the debris. (AP Photo/Maxim Shmakov) (Source: Maxim Shmakov)
People look at the scene of a collapsed apartment building in Magnitogorsk, a city of 400,000 people, about 1,400 kilometers (870 miles) southeast of Moscow, Russia, Monday, Dec. 31, 2018. At least four people died Monday when sections of an apartment building collapsed after an apparent gas explosion in Russia's Ural Mountains region, officials said, and hundreds of rescuers are searching for survivors under the debris. (AP Photo/Maxim Shmakov)
People look at the scene of a collapsed apartment building in Magnitogorsk, a city of 400,000 people, about 1,400 kilometers (870 miles) southeast of Moscow, Russia, Monday, Dec. 31, 2018. At least four people died Monday when sections of an apartment building collapsed after an apparent gas explosion in Russia's Ural Mountains region, officials said, and hundreds of rescuers are searching for survivors under the debris. (AP Photo/Maxim Shmakov) (Source: Maxim Shmakov)
A toy lies in front of police officers at the scene of a collapsed apartment building in Magnitogorsk, a city of 400,000 people, about 1,400 kilometers (870 miles) southeast of Moscow, Russia, Monday, Dec. 31, 2018. At least four people died Monday when sections of an apartment building collapsed after an apparent gas explosion in Russia's Ural Mountains region, officials said, and hundreds of rescuers are searching for survivors under the debris. (AP Photo/Maxim Shmakov)
A toy lies in front of police officers at the scene of a collapsed apartment building in Magnitogorsk, a city of 400,000 people, about 1,400 kilometers (870 miles) southeast of Moscow, Russia, Monday, Dec. 31, 2018. At least four people died Monday when sections of an apartment building collapsed after an apparent gas explosion in Russia's Ural Mountains region, officials said, and hundreds of rescuers are searching for survivors under the debris. (AP Photo/Maxim Shmakov) (Source: Maxim Shmakov)
A toy and flowers lie at the scene of a collapsed apartment building in Magnitogorsk, a city of 400,000 people, about 1,400 kilometers (870 miles) southeast of Moscow, Russia, Monday, Dec. 31, 2018. At least four people died Monday when sections of an apartment building collapsed after an apparent gas explosion in Russia's Ural Mountains region, officials said, and hundreds of rescuers are searching for survivors under the debris. (AP Photo/Maxim Shmakov)
A toy and flowers lie at the scene of a collapsed apartment building in Magnitogorsk, a city of 400,000 people, about 1,400 kilometers (870 miles) southeast of Moscow, Russia, Monday, Dec. 31, 2018. At least four people died Monday when sections of an apartment building collapsed after an apparent gas explosion in Russia's Ural Mountains region, officials said, and hundreds of rescuers are searching for survivors under the debris. (AP Photo/Maxim Shmakov) (Source: Maxim Shmakov)
A shadow of the Emergency Situations employees is seen on the wall of a part of a collapsed apartment building in Magnitogorsk, a city of 400,000 people, about 1,400 kilometers (870 miles) southeast of Moscow, Russia, Monday, Dec. 31, 2018. At least four people died Monday when sections of an apartment building collapsed after an apparent gas explosion in Russia's Ural Mountains region, officials said, and hundreds of rescuers are searching for survivors under the debris. (AP Photo/Maxim Shmakov)
A shadow of the Emergency Situations employees is seen on the wall of a part of a collapsed apartment building in Magnitogorsk, a city of 400,000 people, about 1,400 kilometers (870 miles) southeast of Moscow, Russia, Monday, Dec. 31, 2018. At least four people died Monday when sections of an apartment building collapsed after an apparent gas explosion in Russia's Ural Mountains region, officials said, and hundreds of rescuers are searching for survivors under the debris. (AP Photo/Maxim Shmakov) (Source: Maxim Shmakov)
Russian President Vladimir Putin, right, attends a meeting of Emergency Situations headquarter at a collapsed apartment building in Magnitogorsk, a city of 400,000 people, about 1,400 kilometers (870 miles) southeast of Moscow, Russia, Monday, Dec. 31, 2018. At least four people died Monday when part of a 10-story apartment building collapsed in Russia's Ural Mountains region, and hundreds of rescuers searched for survivors under the rubble in the frigid weather. (Ilya Moskovets, Sputnik, TASS/Kremlin Pool Photo via AP)
Russian President Vladimir Putin, right, attends a meeting of Emergency Situations headquarter at a collapsed apartment building in Magnitogorsk, a city of 400,000 people, about 1,400 kilometers (870 miles) southeast of Moscow, Russia, Monday, Dec. 31, 2018. At least four people died Monday when part of a 10-story apartment building collapsed in Russia's Ural Mountains region, and hundreds of rescuers searched for survivors under the rubble in the frigid weather. (Ilya Moskovets, Sputnik, TASS/Kremlin Pool Photo via AP) (Source: Ilya Moskovets)
Emergency Situations employees working at the scene of a collapsed apartment building in Magnitogorsk, a city of 400,000 people, about 1,400 kilometers (870 miles) southeast of Moscow, Russia, Monday, Dec. 31, 2018. At least four people died Monday when part of a 10-story apartment building collapsed in Russia's Ural Mountains region, and hundreds of rescuers searched for survivors under the rubble in the frigid weather. (AP Photo/Maxim Shmakov)
Emergency Situations employees working at the scene of a collapsed apartment building in Magnitogorsk, a city of 400,000 people, about 1,400 kilometers (870 miles) southeast of Moscow, Russia, Monday, Dec. 31, 2018. At least four people died Monday when part of a 10-story apartment building collapsed in Russia's Ural Mountains region, and hundreds of rescuers searched for survivors under the rubble in the frigid weather. (AP Photo/Maxim Shmakov) (Source: Maxim Shmakov)

Emergency officials deployed powerful heaters to raise temperatures in the wreckage in case anyone trapped there was at risk of dying of hypothermia.

"We must work as quickly as we can as temperatures don't give us any time to linger," Deputy Emergency Minister Pavel Baryshev said during a conference call with local officials.

Officials said they had all the necessary equipment for a thorough search, but the work was proceeding slowly due to fear other sections of the 10-story building might collapse. Residents of some sections were evacuated as a precaution.

The structure was constructed from concrete panels. One that was left hanging in the collapsed section of the building came crashing down as television stations aired live broadcasts from the scene.

Russian President Vladimir Putin visited the accident site about 1,400 kilometers (870 miles) southeast of Moscow and went to a local hospital where injured residents were taken.

At the hospital, Putin spoke to a 13-year old boy, who sustained head injuries and frostbite after spending an hour under the rubble before being rescued.

"You will get well soon, you are a fighter," Putin told the boy after hearing that he was practicing martial arts.

Another survivor, Yulia Gavrilova, recalled the harrowing moments of the collapse.

"We were sleeping and I woke up feeling I was falling down," she said. "I first thought I was dreaming it. Then I woke up for real and realized that I was standing outside, the wall was not there any longer. My mother was screaming that she couldn't breathe and my son was screaming from another corner."

Local authorities initially said 68 people registered as residents in the collapsed section of the building were missing, but later tracked down some of them.

The Russian Emergency Ministry later said that 35 people remained unaccounted for, and it wasn't clear if they were in the building when it collapsed.

The Local governor, Boris Dubrovsky, told Putin that authorities published the missing persons list in the hope they were somewhere else when the explosion happened and would report their whereabouts. He promised to quickly provide new apartments for those who were left homeless.

Gas explosions in Russian homes and businesses are common, and they are usually blamed on neglect of safety rules or poor maintenance.