New footage has emerged of a fireball blaze creating a giant mushroom cloud in the air above a forest in Vsevolozhsk, 15 miles east of St Petersburg, Russia.
Thick plumes of smoke can be seen in the skies of the historic city, with the source of the explosion at the moment unclear.
Locals in the city described a deafening blast they heard today (November 19), with fears that more people may of died from a gas explosion.
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"Is it a fire in St. Petersburg or what? I have never seen or heard such a sound. HUGE flame," one user wrote.
Russian State media say the explosion was sparked by an erupting gas pipeline running through the Leningrad region.
Meanwhile, a local governor said there was no threat to people and that the fire was under control.
The incident occurred just hours after another explosion from a gas leak in a residential building on the Russian island of Sakhalin.
The explosion killed nine people, four of whom were children, after a gas cylinder blew up at 5.30am this morning local time.
Emergency services and volunteers have been working on the scene all day, with reports that surgeons are operating on victims close to the scene while others try to find survivors trapped in the rubble.
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Thirty-three people were known to have lived in the building, with three still missing.
The horror incidents come as Putin ordered 100 air defence missiles to be moved to mainland Russia, with fears that his loosening grip on Ukraine may lead to him launching a dirty bomb on the country.
An expert on Russian affairs told the Mirror: “Whatever Russia has in mind to inflict on Ukraine the Kremlin appears to be expecting retaliation on its own soil from Ukraine or the West.
“Analysts believe with these missile moves done so rapidly, just prior to this week’s massive bombardments, the two are interconnected."
In further chilling words, the analyst said Putin was preparing for a potential reaction to his activity by the West.
“But more ominously they may indicate that worse may yet be to come and they are preparing for a big reaction to this activity," they said.
“There has been talk of a dirty bomb."
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