May 30th, 2024

An apartment block collapses in a Russian border city after heavy shelling, injuring over a dozen

By The Associated Press on May 12, 2024.

An apartment block partially collapsed in the Russian border city of Belgorod on Sunday, leaving at least 19 injured. Officials blamed Ukrainian shelling and said there were also likely deaths.

Online footage showed rescuers searching for survivors among the remnants of the building’s stairwell, then fleeing the scene as part of the roof crashed to the ground.

In a statement, Russia’s Investigative Committee, the country’s top law enforcement agency, said that the 10-story block had been hit by Ukrainian shelling. It said that there were dead and injured among the rubble, but provided no further details.

The Russian Defense Ministry wrote on social media that the building had been damaged by fragments of a downed Tochka-U TRC missile. It also said that air defenses had shot down several more rockets over the Belgorod region, as well as two drones that were destroyed in a separate incident later Sunday.

At least 19 people were injured in the building’s collapse, said local Gov. Vyacheslav Gladkov. Air raid alerts continued across Belgorod as rescuers worked.

The city previously came under fire Saturday evening, killing one person and injuring 29 more, Gladkov said on social media.

Cities across western Russia have come under regular attack from drones since May 2023, with Russian officials blaming Kyiv. Ukrainian officials never acknowledge responsibility for attacks on Russian territory or the Crimean Peninsula.

The Belgorod region, on Russia’s western border, has been the target of a large number of strikes. Although most cross-border shelling is seen in rural areas, attacks have also been seen on the region’s capital. In December 2023, shelling in the heart of Belgorod city killed 25 people, prompting authorities to start erecting public shelters.

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