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Death toll in Russian apartment collapse rises to 28

By JIM HEINTZ , Associated Press

MOSCOW (AP) — Search crews in Russia pulled more bodies Wednesday from a huge pile of rubble where part of an apartment building collapsed, bringing the known death toll to 28 and 13 residents unaccounted for as the grim recovery work entered a third night.

A 3-year-old girl was among the latest victims of the collapse in the Russian city of Magnitogorsk, Russian news agencies reported, citing the Russian emergencies ministry.

An 11-month-old boy who was found alive Tuesday nearly 36 hours after the collapse was in serious but stable condition at a children's hospital in Moscow.

Health Minister Veronika Skvortsova said Wednesday that the boy, who was flown about 1,400 kilometers (870 miles) in a plane dispatched by the ministry suffered superficial head wounds but no apparent brain damage.

The prospects of finding more survivors appeared dim as the rescue effort continued from Monday's pre-dawn accident, which came after an explosion that officials say was likely caused by a gas leak. Overnight temperatures of around 20 degrees Celsius (- 4 F).

However, a cat was pulled alive from the wreckage on Wednesday afternoon, about 60 hours after the disaster.

A day of mourning was declared in the Chelyabinsk region that includes Magnitogorsk, and residents laid flowers and placed candles at the scene. Some Muscovites laid commemorative flowers at the entrance of the office for the regional government's representative in the capital.

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