Ukrainian authorities say 19 people, including two children, are dead
and at least 24 are missing after an explosion at an apartment building
in the Crimean resort town of Yevpatoria.
Rescue teams are digging through rubble Thursday to find survivors from the blast that tore through the five-story building late Wednesday.
They say 21 people have been rescued so far.
Ukraine's Prime Minister Yulia Tymoshenko and President Viktor Yushchenko headed to Yevpatoria Thursday to meet with rescue officials.
Russian President Dmitri Medvedev has offered to send naval personnel from Russia's Black Sea fleet to help with the search efforts.
Authorities are working to establish the cause of the explosion. Preliminary reports say it could have been caused by oxygen or acetylene cylinders that may have been stored in the building's basement.
Gas explosions are common in Ukrainian apartment buildings, especially during the winter when residents turn up the heat.