Tragic death of 35 in burning gas station, Dagestan

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35 people have been killed in an explosion at a petrol station in Dagestan southern Russia.

Dozens have been injured.

The blast erupted in the Dagestan regional capital, Makhachkala, on the coast of the Caspian Sea, at 21:40 local time (18:40 GMT) on Monday.

Pictures showed a large fire lighting up the night sky and a number of fire engines at the scene, reports the BBC.

According to local media, the fire began at a car repair centre near the gas station.

Vladimir Putin offered his sincere condolences following the deadly blast.

A state of emergency was introduced in the Kumtorkalinsky district in Dagestan.

Some 260 emergency workers have been deployed, while the most seriously injured have been evacuated to Moscow by air, according to the emergencies ministry.

Rescue operations are ongoing, the ministry declared. As emergency services clear through the rubble, more bodies are being discovered.

Russia’s Interfax news agency quoted doctors as saying three children were among the dead.

It added that the fire had spread over an area of 600 sq m (6,460 sq ft) and that there was a danger of further explosions.

An unnamed witness quoted by Russian newspaper Izvestia said the fire had started at a car park opposite the petrol station.

„After the explosion, everything fell on our heads. We couldn’t see anything any more”, the witness said.

Russia’s Investigative Committee said the fire had broken out during some car maintenance work and had been „followed by a bang”.

A criminal case has been opened to establish the circumstances leading up to the incident, the committee said.


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