VIDEO: Fireworks blast at Yerevan market kills 6, injures over 60 - GulfToday

VIDEO: Fireworks blast at Yerevan market kills 6, injures over 60


Armenian emergency employees and volunteers work at the site of burned Surmalu market in Yerevan, Armenia. AP

Gulf Today Report

A fire that set off an explosion at a market in the Armenian capital Yerevan on Sunday killed at least 6 people and injured dozens of others, officials announced.

Six bodies were recovered, Armenian Minister of Emergency Situations Armen Pampukchian told the press.

He reported that more than 60 people were injured in the explosion and that 15 others are missing.

According to the ministry's estimates, it is likely that the explosion was not an attack, explaining that a fire occurred at the beginning, and then an explosion occurred shortly afterwards.

He pointed out that small spots of fire and smoke are still at the site, and that this may last for seven days.

Cleaning and rescue work is continuing at the site, with more than 350 rescuers deployed, according to Pampukchian.

The Armenian Public Prosecution announced the opening of an investigation on Sunday evening "into the violation of the rules of storage of highly flammable products" and "violation of the rules of fire prevention," violations that caused the death of several people as a result of negligence.

On Monday morning, Prime Minister of Armenia Nikol Pashinyan visited the site of the blast, according to his media office.

The circumstances of the explosion, which occurred in the afternoon in the Surmalu wholesale market, and this market usually receives heavy traffic on Sunday, have not yet been revealed.

The media quoted witnesses as saying that the explosion occurred at a site where fireworks were stored.

Shortly after the explosion, photos and video recordings spread on social media showing thick black smoke rising into the air and loud noises being heard in it. The accident caused the collapse of a building.

The explosion shook a country already going through a difficult period. Armenia, a small country in the Caucasus with a population of about three million, has been going through a difficult period since the 2020 war with neighboring Azerbaijan, which ended in a major defeat and political crisis.

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