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Moscow mayor refutes possibility of terrorist act at market


MOSCOW, February 24 (RIA Novosti) - Mayor Yury Luzhkov reiterated Friday that the roof collapse at the Basmanny market in downtown Moscow on Thursday morning that killed 57 and injured more than 30 people was not an act of terror but rather an industrial accident.

"What I want to say, in essence, is that it was not a terrorist act or negligence on the part of personnel in the building," Luzhkov told a news conference at the site of the tragedy.

"It is a catastrophe and our task is to investigate its causes," the mayor said. "It is the responsibility of the prosecutors and experts on building construction, who must analyze the causes of the accident."

Meanwhile, the mayor said the current death toll was apparently final and rescue workers would continue clearing the debris for at least another four days.

He also said that out of 33 people injured in the accident, 23 had been released from hospitals, but two people remained in critical condition.

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