Armenian warehouse blast death toll rises to seven

People help firefighters to extinguish a fire after blasts ripped through a fireworks warehouse in a shopping mall in Yerevan, Armenia August 14, 2022. Vahram Baghdasaryan/Photolure via REUTERS

Aug 15 (Reuters) - Rescuers have recovered seven bodies from the site of a fireworks warehouse that exploded in the Armenian capital of Yerevan and 22 people remain missing, the emergencies ministry said on Monday.

Blasts ripped through the warehouse storing fireworks at a market in Yerevan on Sunday, causing parts of the building to collapse and injuring dozens of people. read more

Video shared by the emergencies ministry showed a smouldering pile of rubble and twisted metal. Prime Minister Nikol Pashinyan visited the scene along with officials, the ministry said.

It was not clear what caused the blast, although the authorities have ruled out terrorism.

"Looking at the footage of the moment of the blast, it becomes obvious that there can be no talk of a terrorist act, because first there is some fire, smoke rises, and then an explosion," Armenpress news agency quoted emergencies minister Armen Pambukhchyan as saying.

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Reporting by Olzhas Auyezov, Caleb Davis and Polina Devitt; Editing by Emelia Sithole-Matarise and Deepa Babington

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