At least 56 killed in roof collapse in Moscow | india | Hindustan Times
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At least 56 killed in roof collapse in Moscow

At least 56 people were killed and 32 others injured when the snow-covered roof of a 30-year old market in downtown Moscow collapsed on Thursday.

india Updated: Feb 24, 2006 02:41 IST

At least 56 people were killed and 32 others injured when the snow-covered roof of a 30-year old market in downtown Moscow collapsed on Thursday.

Emergency Situations Ministry spokeswoman Natalya Lukash said at least 56 people were killed and 32 injured in the early-morning collapse of the concave-shaped roof of the glass-and-concrete Baumansky indoor market.

The probable cause was either the buildup of heavy snow, design flaws or maintenance errors, Moscow Prosecutor Anatoly Zuyev said.

Prosecutors have opened a criminal investigation on charges of negligence leading to deaths, the RIA-Novosti news agency reported.

Interfax news agency reported the fire that broke out at the spot hours after the incident making rescue work difficult may have been caused by a spark from rescue equipment, which set alight flammable liquids in the wreckage.

Sniffer dogs were searching the area for survivors as rescue workers ploughed through debris using pickaxes.

The entire roof, covering an area of about 2,000 square metres had fallen onto the market stalls, reports said.

Emergency officials said it was impossible to say how many people had been in the market at the time of the collapse, but survivors and witnesses said there could have been up to 100 people or more.

The market is one of the city's biggest wholesale and retail markets.