Fireworks explosion kills five in Yerevan

Fireworks explosion kills five in Yerevan
A+ A-
An explosion at a fireworks storage area killed five and injured dozens in Armenia's capital and set off a large fire.

An explosion ripped through a firework warehouse in the Armenian capital of Yerevan on Sunday afternoon, killing five and wounding more than 60, Reuters reported.

Firefighters and volunteers rushed to Surmalu market to put out the blaze as thick smoke was rising over the partly collapsed building. Rescue workers raced to find survivors from under slabs of concrete and twisted metal, the Associated Press said.

Emergencies Minister Armen Pambukhchyan said the ministry has received 20 reports from people who said they could not locate their relatives after the blast but the office of Yerevan’s mayor said it was unclear how many people remained trapped under the rubble.

“Fireworks, fireworks — everything shattered in one minute,” said one witness to Al Jazeera. “People could not get out of the stores.”

The market, located 2 kilometers south of the city center, is popular for its low prices and variety of goods.

There was no immediate comment from the authorities on what caused the fireworks to detonate.