Explosion rips through supermarket before opening hours in southern Russia

February 12, 2021 1:38 AM EST

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MOSCOW (Reuters) - A powerful explosion caused by a suspected gas leak ripped through a supermarket in the southern Russian city of Vladikavkaz before opening hours on Friday, authorities said.

No one was thought dead from the explosion. The supermarket's guard said he had been asleep in the building and had survived the blast largely unscathed.

Footage circulated on social networks showed smoke rising from the site of the supermarket near residential flats.

"I fell asleep when it was nearly morning and woke up from the explosion. I crawled out of there somehow," the guard said in footage published by the RIA news agency.

Doctors had looked him over, he said, and his condition seemed fine.

(Reporting by Tom Balmforth and Maria Kiselyova; Editing by Tom Hogue)

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