One Tajik national has been rescued from the ruins of a collapsed apartment building in the Russian city of Magnitogorsk, while nine  other Tajik nationals are missing. 

An official source at the Ministry of Labor of Tajikistan says a 26-year-oldresident of Kushoniyon district in Khatlon province Shuhrat Ulfatov survived the suspected gas explosion, which killed at least nine people.

Ulfatov was reportedly found alive in ruins of the collapsed apartment building on December 31.  Meanwhile, the fate of his wife and two children is still unknown.  

Besides, six members of family of Tajik nationals Mahmadroziq Samiyev are also missing, according to the source.   

Russian media reports say an explosion devastated a block of flats in the city of Magnitogorsk in the Ural region, killing at least nine people.  Officials in the city say a gas leak caused the blast.

The blast, at 06:02 local time is thought to have ripped through the first floor, which houses some offices, and the seven stories above then collapsed.  Nearby flats were also damaged.

The building was home to 120 people, and 48 flats collapsed in the blast.

At least 16 survivors were reportedly evacuated from the scene, including seven children, on the same day. Five injured people, including two children, were taken to hospital.  

Authorities have reportedly been in a race against time to find survivors, with temperatures expected to fall further overnight.

Meanwhile, authorities announced yesterday night that they had halted their search for survivors until the unstable building could be secured.  There are concerns another two sections of the block, which was built in 1973, could collapse.

"It's impossible to continue working in such conditions," Russian Emergencies Minister Yevgeny Zinichev said, citing a "real threat of part of the building collapsing," according to TASS.