Armenian News - NEWS.am presents the breaking news as of 17.08.22:
- The search continues for those who remained under the rubble as a result of the strong explosion that took place at the Surmalu shopping market on Sunday in Yerevan.
Sixteen people, including a pregnant woman and a small child, were killed in the explosion.
In addition, over 60 people were hospitalized, seven of them continue to receive treatment there.
At present, one person is still being searched for. Another 16 missing citizens, including Iranian and Russian citizens, have already been found.
Meanwhile,criminal proceedings have been launched into the blast amid violation of fire safety rules or requirements.
- At the moment, 70% of the rubble cleaning work has been carried out, Deputy Minister of Emergency Situations of Armenia, Artyush Grigoryan, told reporters Wednesday.
According to him, specialists from the Seismic Service and a private company have been called for discussions, and now the building's surroundings are being cooled off so that search-and-rescue dogs can work.
Grigoryan added that once the search and rescue operations are concluded, the building will be completely dismantled.
- The Russian Embassy in Yerevan sent a note to the Armenian Foreign Ministry in connection with unfounded accusations against Russian structures of involvement in the Yerevan Sunday’s explosion.
Their remarks came after Sasna Tsrer political group spread rumors about the possible involvement of Russia in the blast.
The embassy also noted that the Russian side, represented by the Russian-Armenian Center for Humanitarian Response, has been involved in the work to eliminate the consequences of the tragedy from the first minutes.
“We expect the Armenian authorities to take steps aimed at curbing such unfriendly manifestations, including the necessary public comments," the embassy added.
- From the early morning on Wednesday people have been laying flowers near the market in memory of those who died as a result of this blast.
"I did not know any of the casualties. But if none of my relatives was affected in the explosion, it does not mean that I should be indifferent. All the casualties are my beloved. This is how I pay my respects," one of those who laid flowers told NEWS.am.
Meanwhile, a day of mourning has been declared Wednesday and Thursday in Armenia and Artsakh (Nagorno-Karabakh), in memory of those who died as a result of the blast at the Surmalu market in Yerevan.
- The concentration of sulfur dioxide exceeded the maximum permissible concentration 4.6 times and nitrogen dioxide 2.6 times after the explosion in Surmalu shopping center.
The maximum permissible concentration of dust, nitrogen dioxide 1.6-1.8 times, sulfur dioxide 1.1-1.3 times was exceeded in air in the Central Administrative District of Yerevan, the press service of Hydrometeorology and Monitoring Center told NEWS.am.
Dust content in the air in Nor Nork administrative district exceeded the maximum permissible concentration 1.4 times.