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Published: Monday, 1/9/2012

Gas explosion at Moscow restaurant kills 2, injures at least 26


MOSCOW — Officials say a gas explosion and fire at a Moscow restaurant killed two people and injured at least 26.

The explosion occurred Monday afternoon in the kitchen of an Italian restaurant in the Russian capital. A fire, believed to have been set off by the explosion, spread quickly through the three-story building.

Emergencies services official Ilya Denisov said at the scene that two restaurant employees died and 15 people were evacuated by ambulance.

The federal Investigative Committee said in a statement that in addition to the two killed, 26 people were hurt.

Russian state news agencies, citing a spokesman for the emergency services, said 32 people were hospitalized.

Investigators and emergency workers say the explosion is believed to have been caused by improper use of gas cannisters.

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