Officers stated on Tuesday that at the very least 20 folks had been killed, and almost 300 wounded, in an explosion at a fuel 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 services after the blast close to town of Stepanakert, the well being ministry of Nagorno-Karabakh stated in a press release.
Seven of these folks died, and 13 our bodies have been recovered on the website and brought to a forensics workplace, the ministry stated. Dozens of sufferers have been nonetheless in important situation, it stated.
“The docs and medical workers in Stepanakert are doing their finest to avoid wasting the lives of the wounded in these troublesome and cramped circumstances,” the ministry stated.
The reason for the explosion was not instantly clear. The Related Press reported that it occurred as folks have been lining as much as refuel their automobiles as they have been evacuating Nagorno-Karabakh.
Armenians and Azerbaijanis had lived peacefully round Nagorno-Karabakh, a area the scale 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 navy.
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, chopping 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 function by the breakaway republic’s lawmakers, stated 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 sufficient medical services.