Tragedy struck in southern Russia as a devastating explosion at a petrol station has left at least 35 people dead and numerous others injured. The incident occurred at a car repair center adjacent to the petrol station, igniting a massive fire that engulfed the area.
The catastrophic blast unfolded in Makhachkala, the capital of Dagestan region, situated along the shores of the Caspian Sea. The explosion, which took place at 21:40 local time (18:40 GMT) on Monday, cast an eerie glow across the night sky and prompted swift responses from firefighting teams. The extent of the destruction was captured in poignant images, showcasing the conflagration and the valiant efforts of fire crews on the scene.
Russian President Vladimir Putin expressed his heartfelt condolences in the wake of the calamity, also enacting a state of emergency in the Kumtorkalinsky district of Dagestan. Regional leader Sergei Melikov confirmed the implementation of this emergency measure.
Approximately 260 dedicated emergency responders have been deployed to the disaster site. Air evacuation of the most critically injured victims to Moscow has been executed by the emergency’s ministry, a crucial effort to ensure prompt medical attention.
The operation to rescue and recovery continues, with search and rescue teams navigating through the wreckage. Each passing moment reveals more casualties as the devastation’s full extent comes to light.
An eyewitness account shared with Russian publication Izvestia revealed that the fire originated from a car park located opposite the petrol station. The witness described the harrowing aftermath of the explosion, recounting, “After the explosion, everything fell on our heads. We couldn’t see anything anymore.”
Russia’s Investigative Committee divulged that the blaze was triggered during routine car maintenance. A criminal case has been initiated to unravel the sequence of events leading up to this tragic incident.