Apartment building partially collapses in a Russian border city after shelling; at least 13 killed

Russian officials blamed Ukrainian shelling for the building's destruction

Published - May 13, 2024 10:54 am IST - Moscow

In this photo released by Belgorod regional governor Vyacheslav Gladkov’s Telegram channel on May 12, 2024, a view of a partially collapsed block of flats after a missile attack by the Ukrainian Armed Forces in the Russian city of Belgorod.

In this photo released by Belgorod regional governor Vyacheslav Gladkov’s Telegram channel on May 12, 2024, a view of a partially collapsed block of flats after a missile attack by the Ukrainian Armed Forces in the Russian city of Belgorod. | Photo Credit: AP

An apartment building partially collapsed in the Russian border city of Belgorod on Sunday, causing at least 13 deaths and injuring 20 other people, officials said.

They blamed Ukrainian shelling for the building's destruction.

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. Russia's Emergency Situations Ministry said 13 bodies had been recovered from the rubble so far.

Russia's Investigative Committee, the country's top law enforcement agency, said in a statement that the 10-story building had been hit by Ukrainian shelling.

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

Air raid alerts continued across Belgorod as rescuers worked. The city also came under fire Saturday evening, killing one person and wounding 29 others, Belgorod Governor Vyacheslav Gladkov said.

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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