MOSCOW — 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 33 and the number of missing residents down to eight as the grim recovery work continued for 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. The people found dead since the Monday morning collapse so far include six children.
An 11-month-old boy who brought a burst of hope when he was discovered alive Tuesday ,nearly 36 hours after the collapse, was in serious but stable condition at a Moscow children’s hospital after traveling about 1,400 kilometers (870 miles) in a plane dispatched by the Russian Health Ministry.
Health Minister Veronika Skvortsova said the infant 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.