The explosion of a firework at the Yerevan market kills 1 and injures 51 | Company


YEREVAN, Armenia (AP) — A loud explosion at a fireworks storage area ripped through a popular market in the Armenian capital on Sunday, killing at least one person, injuring 51 others and igniting a large fire.

Firefighters worked for hours after the early afternoon blast at Surmalu market to extinguish the blaze that sent a towering column of thick smoke over central Yerevan. Rescuers and volunteers searched amid still-explosive fireworks for victims who may be trapped under slabs of concrete and twisted metal.

The Armenian Ministry of National Health has taken stock of the victims.

An Associated Press reporter at the scene saw two people pulled from the rubble – a woman with an injured leg and a young man who appeared unconscious. Emergencies Minister Armen Pambukhchyan also said two sisters were pulled alive from the rubble.

The market, located 2 kilometers (over a mile) south of the city center, is popular for its low prices and variety of produce.

There was no immediate word on what caused the fireworks to ignite.

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