Armenian warehouse blast death toll rises to sixteen


People help firefighters to extinguish a fire after blasts ripped through a fireworks warehouse in a shopping mall in Yerevan, Armenia August 14, 2022. Vahram Baghdasaryan/Photolure via REUTERS

The number of people who have died after a blast at a warehouse in a shopping mall in the Armenian capital of Yerevan has risen to 16.

Rescue workers pulled more bodies out of the rubble of the collapsed buildings, Armenia’s civil defence agency said on Tuesday.

A pregnant woman and a small child were among the dead, officials said.

Emergency crews were still looking for those who are missing.

Many people were still receiving hospital treatment after the blast which left more than 60 people injured, many of them children.

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According to the latest investigations, the blast occurred when a warehouse where fireworks were stored blew up at the wholesale site, triggering an explosion of a gas pipeline.

The three-storey building collapsed.

The massive blast generated huge clouds of smoke and several buildings collapsed, triggering panic.

The former Soviet Republic of Armenia in the South Caucasus was one of the world’s poorest countries.

Violations of safety regulations were common.

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