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House explodes in Āgenskalns, Rīga; one casualty

On December 31 night, a residential building exploded in Āgenskalns, Rīga, the State Fire and Rescue Service (VUGD) said on Twitter. 

VUGD said a call had been received at 1:22 at night. A residential apartment building on Melnsila Street had exploded, with its second and third floor and the roof construction destroyed and on fire. 

At 7 in the morning, emergency services were still working on the scene. VUGD representative Agrita Vītola told Latvian Radio that one person had died in the accident and six were injured. Three of them have been taken to the hospital.

The most likely cause of the explosion is a gas leak, said Vītola.

Criminal proceedings have been initiated. 

Whether the building will be renewable is not yet known. 

Public transportation - buses 4, 21, 38, 39, 46, 56 and trolley bus 5 - are taking detours and not servicing the Ļermontova Street stop. Traffic has been suspended.

Eyewitnesses reported on social media that the explosion could be heard in many neighborhoods of Riga on the left bank of river Daugava. 

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