Makhachkala, Russia (TEH) – A horrifying inferno erupted in the southern Russian republic of Dagestan, claiming at least 35 lives and leaving dozens more wounded. The blaze, which ignited at a car repair shop on Monday night, rapidly spread to a nearby fuel station on the outskirts of Dagestan’s capital, Makhachkala, according to Russia’s emergency situations ministry.
The tragedy unfolded with terrifying speed, as flames engulfed the area, leading to a catastrophic explosion. Among the dead were several children, a fact that has sent shockwaves through the community and the nation. At least three bodies were recovered from the rubble, state media agency TASS reported.
The initial injury toll, as stated by the head of the Dagestan republic, Sergey Melikov, was 102, but TASS later reported that 80 people were wounded, citing a department of the Russian ministry of health.
In a swift response to the disaster, the emergency ministry dispatched a special aircraft to evacuate casualties to hospitals in Moscow. Specialists from the Federal Center for Disaster Medicine of the Ministry of Health, along with Moscow medical organizations, have also arrived in Dagestan to provide critical assistance.
As of Tuesday morning, search and rescue efforts were ongoing, with emergency workers diligently clearing the rubble and searching for potential survivors. The grim task underscored the magnitude of the devastation and the urgency of the situation.
Russia’s Investigative Committee has launched a criminal investigation into the deadly blaze, a move that underscores the gravity of the incident and the determination to uncover the truth.
A statement from the Kremlin revealed that Russian President Vladimir Putin “expressed condolences to the families and friends of those killed in the explosion at a gas station in Makhachkala, and wished a speedy recovery to the victims.”
Dagestan’s head of government Abdulmuslim Abdulmuslimov visited the site of the disaster in Makhachkala on Tuesday, a somber reminder of the human toll and the urgent need for answers.
In a poignant gesture, the Dagestan government declared Tuesday a day of mourning, a fitting tribute to those who lost their lives in this terrible tragedy.