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:RUSSIAN: Number of injured in Dagestan gas station blast rises to 102

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Firefighters at the scene of the explosion and blaze at a petrol station in the city of Makhachkala, Dagestan, Russia, on August 15, 2023 Russian Emergencies Ministry

The number of people injured in an explosion that rocked a gas station in the Russian city of Makhachkala has risen to 102, said Sergey Mekilov, head of the Dagestan Region.

Makhachkala, a city of over 600,000 residents on the Caspian Sea, is the capital of Dagestan, a Russian republic bordering Chechnya.

“As of 6:00 a.m. local time (3:00 a.m. GMT) on August 15, the tragedy killed 35 people and left 102 injured,” Melikov’s press service quoted him as saying.

According to the regional head, there are three children among those killed.

The Russian Emergencies Ministry said earlier that the gas station blast in Makhachkala had killed 27 and left 75 injured. Efforts continue to clear the rubble and search for potential survivors. Search-and-rescue dog teams are working at the site. In addition, the Emergencies Ministry’s Il-76 aircraft has departed from Moscow’s Zhukovsky Airport to airlift the injured to the hospital.

The explosion took place in the building of a car service station, where a fire had broken out during maintenance work, Russia’s Investigative Committee said.

An eyewitness quoted by the Russian daily Izvestia said the fire started in an area where cars were parked and spread to the petrol station.

“After the explosion, everything fell on our heads, we couldn’t see anything anymore,” said the eyewitness, who was unnamed.

A criminal case has been opened to establish the circumstances leading up to the incident, it added.

The state-run TASS and RIA Novosti news agencies reported that the fire had been extinguished, citing Russia’s Emergency Ministry.

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