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North Macedonia: Death toll from cooking gas blast reaches 5

SKOPJE, North Macedonia (AP) — The death toll from a weekend cooking gas accident in a North Macedonian village climbed to five Wednesday after a severely injured woman died in hospital. All the deceased were members of the same family.

Health authorities said the 36-year-old woman had burns on 80% of her body and had been on a respiratory machine in hospital in the capital, Skopje. Two other women, aged between 30 and 50, and a 10-year-old boy are still in critical condition with extensive burns. Another two people, a 7-month-pregnant woman and a 65-year-old man, are in stable condition.

Two sisters aged 9 and 11 and their cousin, an 8-year-old boy, were killed instantly early Sunday when the gas cylinder exploded in the living room of a family house in the village of Romanovce. A 58-year-old man died of his injuries later Sunday in a Skopje hospital.

The village is near the northern town of Kumanovo, about 50 kilometers north from Skopje. Ten people, all members of the same family including some who were visiting, were in the house at the time of the accident.

It is still unclear what caused the accident. Local media reported that the gas cylinder exploded while the family was preparing breakfast.

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