[imagesource: Vahram Baghdasaryan / Photolure]
Tragedy struck in Armenia on Sunday after a series of blasts tore through a fireworks warehouse in the capital of Yerevan.
Rescuers have spent the past two days combing through the wreckage in search of bodies, with the official death count rising from seven yesterday to 16 today.
A statement from the Armenian emergencies ministry earlier today confirms that 17 people remain missing. The explosions caused parts of the building to collapse, injuring at least 60 people.
Emergencies minister Armen Pambukhchyan said a pregnant woman and а young child were among the dead, and that search and rescue efforts were ongoing as of Tuesday morning…
It was not clear what caused the blast, which took place in the large Surmalu market, although authorities have ruled out terrorism.
Multiple videos showed blasts coming from the warehouse as terrified onlookers fled:
WATCH: One person was killed and at least 20 others were hurt when two explosions tore through a fireworks warehouse at a mall in #Yerevan, the capital of #Armenia, on Sunday, according to the Armenian emergencies ministry. pic.twitter.com/YBfjY9qCVU
— BNN Newsroom (@BNNBreaking) August 14, 2022
ARMENIA :#VIDEO POWERFUL EXPLOSION AT A FIREWORKS STORAGE AREA TORE THROUGH A MARKET IN CAPITAL CITY OF YEREVAN!
— loveworld (@LoveWorld_Peopl) August 14, 2022
The explosion occurred at a fireworks warehouse. pic.twitter.com/fZlPxmnPdP
— Tso Ցողիկ (@MegTsogh) August 14, 2022
— Transcontinental Times (@Transctimes) August 15, 2022
Drone footage filmed in the aftermath of the explosion shows the extent of the damage caused:
— Wᵒˡᵛᵉʳᶤᶰᵉ Uᵖᵈᵃᵗᵉˢ (@W0lverineupdate) August 14, 2022
The Surmalu market, located roughly two kilometres south of the city centre, is popular for its low prices and variety of goods.
One witness, likely still in shock, told Al Jazeera, “fireworks, fireworks – everything shattered in one minute.”
The witness added that people were unable to get out of the market stores in time.
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