development storydevelopment story,
The mayor’s office said an unknown number of people were trapped under the rubble after an explosion hit a market in Yerevan.
At least one person has been killed and an unknown number of people are feared trapped under the rubble after a powerful explosion hit a retail market in the Armenian capital Yerevan, according to officials.
Yerevan mayor’s spokesman, Levon Sardarian, told the Associated Press news agency that rescue workers are working to pull people out from under the rubble.
Maria Titizian, a journalist based in Yerevan, said the market building was destroyed and is still burning. She added that the number of victims is expected to increase.
“It’s a very crowded market in the afternoon and that’s why it’s hard at the moment to put exact numbers,” she said.
“According to the Ministry of Emergency Situations, the fires broke out where fireworks are being sold, and they believe that this is the cause of the explosions but at this stage it cannot be confirmed,” Titizian said.
The Ministry of Emergency Situations said there were 10 fire engines on site, and another 10 were on their way to Surmalu Market, located two kilometers (1.2 miles) south of the city center.
The cause of the explosion was not immediately known.
Pictures and videos posted on social media showed a thick plume of black smoke in the market with successive explosions heard.
The Emergencies Ministry said at least 20 people were wounded in the blast.