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11 still missing after flats blast

Hundreds of rescuers in Argentina are still sifting through the rubble of an apartment complex whose middle tower collapsed in a huge gas explosion.

They have pulled a pet cat from the wreckage but found no further human victims. Eleven residents are still missing.

Authorities now say 10 people died and more than 60 were injured in the blast in Rosario, Argentina's third-largest city.

Politicians nationwide cancelled its closing campaign rallies ahead of Sunday's primary, but anti-government marches were still planned around the country.

Two repairmen are in custody amid a criminal investigation into the blast.

Residents had complained to the Litoral Gas company that natural gas was not reaching their kitchens.

A judge is trying to determine who was responsible for the repair job.

"Until we remove the last brick, we'll always expect to find people alive," federal police commissioner Angel Poidomani, leading one of the rescue teams, told Rosario's La Capital newspaper.

With damaged towers on both sides of the rubble pile in danger of collapsing on the rescuers, police and firefighters were working as carefully as possible, following the scents of body-sniffing dogs and clues from a fibreoptic cable that captures sounds and movement.

Mr Poidomani compared it to surgery. "These are nine floors of a building that ended up compacted, 5 or 6 metres high. Reaching the centre of this heap is very difficult," he said.


From Belfast Telegraph