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Argentine Rescue Team Looks for Survivors After Blast Kills 10

Aug. 7 (Bloomberg) -- Rescue workers in the Argentine city of Rosario are searching through rubble as 12 people remain missing after a gas explosion yesterday killed at least 10, Mayor Monica Fein told reporters today.

City authorities canceled classes in 11 schools near the site of the blast, which also injured more than 60 people. President Cristina Fernandez de Kirchner has declared two days of national mourning, her spokesman Alfredo Scoccimarro told reporters today in Buenos Aires.

Two plumbers who were working in the residential building where the explosion occurred were detained for questioning, newspaper La Nacion reported, citing Judge Juan Carlos Curto. Some witnesses said one of the workers, Carlos Garcia, fled the building before the blast occurred, the paper said, citing Curto.

Garcia has 20 years of expertise working with natural gas installations, his lawyer Hugo Bufarini said in an interview with TN television without elaborating on his client’s actions before the blast. He didn’t immediately return a phone call from Bloomberg seeking comment.

Litoral Gas SA supplies natural gas to Santa Fe and the northeast of Buenos Aires province. Tibsa Inversora, which owns 92 percent of Litoral Gas, is owned by SUEZ-Tractebel SA and the Techint Group. The remaining 8 percent is owned by individuals shareholders, including workers and former employees, according to the company’s website.

To contact the reporter on this story: Eliana Raszewski in Buenos Aires at eraszewski@bloomberg.net

To contact the editor responsible for this story: Andre Soliani at asoliani@bloomberg.net

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