Officers mentioned on Tuesday that at the least 20 individuals had been killed, and practically 300 wounded, in an explosion at a gasoline depot within the breakaway Nagorno-Karabakh area of Azerbaijan on Monday.
Emergency employees took 290 sufferers “with varied levels of burns” to 4 totally different medical amenities after the blast close to town of Stepanakert, the well being ministry of Nagorno-Karabakh mentioned in an announcement.
Seven of these individuals died, and 13 our bodies have been recovered on the web site and brought to a forensics workplace, the ministry mentioned. Dozens of sufferers have been nonetheless in vital situation, it mentioned.
“The medical doctors and medical employees in Stepanakert are doing their greatest to avoid wasting the lives of the wounded in these tough and cramped circumstances,” the ministry mentioned.
The reason for the explosion was not instantly clear. The Related Press reported that it occurred as individuals have been lining as much as refuel their automobiles as they have been evacuating Nagorno-Karabakh.
Hundreds of ethnic Armenians have been fleeing the breakaway area for Armenia since a army offensive final week introduced the enclave again underneath Azerbaijan’s management.
Armenians and Azerbaijanis had lived peacefully round Nagorno-Karabakh, a area the dimensions of Rhode Island within the South Caucasus, for many years till the autumn of the Soviet Union. Ethnic Armenians took management of the area in 1994 with the backing of the Armenian army.
Azerbaijan led a 44-day battle in 2020 in opposition to the ethnic Armenian management, gaining management of a lot of the area. Final December, Azerbaijan put in a blockade to the one street connecting Nagorno-Karabakh to Armenia, reducing off the area from meals and gasoline provides and worsening a humanitarian disaster.
Nagorno-Karabakh’s human rights ombudsman, Gegham Stepanyan, who was elected to the position by the breakaway republic’s lawmakers, mentioned on Monday after the explosion that a lot of the victims have been in extreme situation, with out offering particulars, and warned that the area didn’t have enough medical amenities.