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DATE=9/10/1999 TYPE=CORRESPONDENT REPORT TITLE=RUSSIA/EXPLOSION (L - UPDATE) NUMBER=2-253697 BYLINE=EVE CONANT DATELINE=MOSCOW CONTENT= VOICED AT: INTRO: Rescue workers have finished their search for bodies as security officials investigate the cause of an apartment block explosion that killed 90 people. Moscow correspondent Eve Conant reports officials are trying to determine if the blast was an act of terrorism or an accidental detonation of explosives. TEXT: Rescue workers have completed their search for bodies beneath the rubble of a nine story apartment building that collapsed early Thursday morning. But investigators are still searching for clues to the blast, which was equal in force to several hundred kilograms of T-N-T (a type of explosive). Russia's Prime Minister Vladimir Putin said in a televised address that security officials are investigating whether the blast was caused by a bomb or criminal negligence. ///ACT PUTIN IN RUSSIAN IN FULL AND FADE UNDER/// He says, "If the blast was a terrorist act, then we are facing a sly, treacherous and bloodthirsty enemy." He adds, " But no one will succeed in putting Russia on its knees." Initial reports linked the explosion to a gas leak. But Federal Security Services Chief Nikolai Patrushev says investigators discovered traces of two explosive substances at the site. ///ACT PATRUSHEV IN RUSSIAN IN FULL AND FADE UNDER/// "We discovered traces of hexogen and T-N-T, which means the explosion did not take place by chance," he says. "However, we will continue to investigate all possible causes." Prime Minister Putin says Russia will declare a day of mourning Monday for the victims of this blast as well as two other recent explosions. One person was killed in an explosion in a Moscow shopping center. More than 60 people were killed in a blast in a military housing block in Dagestan. That incident was linked to Islamic militants. (Signed) NEB/EC/ENE/JO 10-Sep-1999 12:46 PM EDT (10-Sep-1999 1646 UTC) NNNN Source: Voice of America .





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