An undetermined explosion on Sunday August 14 killed at least three people and injured forty others in a commercial area of the capital city of Yerevan, Armenian authorities announced.
“According to preliminary data, there was an explosion which caused the fire”, the Emergencies Ministry said in a statement. In addition to the provisional assessment, the ministry released the names of twenty-five people without news of next of kin, believing they may have been trapped in the rubble of the collapsed building.
The blast, the origin of which has not been determined, occurred in the late afternoon at Surmalu Wholesale Market, a busy place on Sundays.
Videos and photos circulating on social media show a thick column of black smoke in the sky. In one video, multiple explosions can be heard in quick succession, like fireworks going off. Some media outlets, citing witnesses, reported that the explosion occurred at a warehouse where fireworks were stored, but authorities have yet to issue a statement.
Ten survivors crawled out of the wreckage
A journalist from Agence France-Presse noted that the explosion caused a building to collapse and rescuers were clearing the rubble and trying to find survivors.
According to the Emergencies Ministry, about 200 firefighters and rescue workers were sent to the scene of the explosion, as well as several trucks and construction machinery. Ten survivors were pulled from the rubble by rescuers, along with one body, the ministry said. Many volunteers also participated, struggling to move piles of concrete blocks and twisted metal wires by hand.
A small country of about three million people in the Caucasus, Armenia is going through a difficult period. From the 2020 war against Azerbaijan The neighboring country ended in heavy defeat and great political crisis.
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