Death toll from Armenian fireworks warehouse blast rises to sixteen

Firefighters extinguish a fire after blasts ripped through a fireworks warehouse in a shopping mall in Yerevan, Armenia.

Rescuers have recovered more bodies from the site of a fireworks warehouse blast in Armenia, raising the death toll from Sunday’s explosion to 16, the emergencies ministry.

Seventeen people remain missing, it said in a statement, after blasts ripped through the warehouse in a market in the Armenian capital of Yerevan on Sunday, causing parts of the building to collapse and injuring at least 60 people.

Emergencies minister Armen Pambukhchyan said a pregnant woman and а young child were among the dead, and that search and rescue efforts were ongoing as of Tuesday morning.

Video shared by the emergencies ministry showed rescuers sifting through a smouldering pile of rubble and twisted metal.

It was not clear what caused the blast, which took place in the large Surmalu market, although authorities have ruled out terrorism.

The Armenpress news agency cited the government as saying it would declare a day of mourning after the rescue operation is over. Prime Minister Nikol Pashinyan visited the scene along with officials on Monday, the emergencies ministry said.

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