Fuel explosion in Nagorno-Karabakh claims 68 lives, many people still unaccounted for
Update: On September 26, Artsakh Ombudsman Gegham Stepanyan wrote that at least 68 people were killed and 105 are missing after the explosion at a fuel storage tank in Nagorno-Karabakh. Armenia’s Health Ministry also reported that the 125 bodies that were transferred out of Nagorno-Karabakh were not related to the explosion.
The Nagorno-Karabakh Health Ministry said that 20 people were killed when a fuel storage tank exploded on Monday near the Askeran–Stepanakert highway in Nagorno-Karabakh, according to Interfax.
The ministry stated that 290 people had been hospitalized with burns, dozens of whom were in critical condition. Many more people have been listed as missing, and the total number of casualties from the blast remains unclear.
Artsakh Ombudsman Gegham Stepanyan wrote late Monday evening that “The medical capabilities of [Nagorno-Karabakh] are not enough,” adding that air ambulances are urgently needed. The Armenian Health Ministry reported that a team of doctors with necessary medical equipment and medicine flew to Stepanakert, the capital of Nagorno-Karabakh, to assist. Doctors from the Russian peacekeeping contingent are also helping the injured, according to their unofficial Telegram channel.
A parliament member of the unrecognized Artsakh Republic in Nagorno-Karabakh said the explosion occurred at a gas station where ethnic Armenians were getting fuel in order to flee the area.