28 Sep 2023, 08:57

Explosion, fire reported near airport in Uzbekistan capital

TASHKENT, Sept 28, 2023 (BSS/AFP) - A powerful explosion occurred near the airport of the Uzbek capital Tashkent overnight from Wednesday to Thursday, local media reported, with authorities saying a fire had resulted in injuries.

According to witnesses cited by the news website Nova24, the explosion took place at a customs warehouse near the airport, with videos circulating on social media showing a column of flames and smoke rising into the night sky.

The health ministry said that a "fire" had been reported during the night at the warehouse, and that an unspecified number of injured people had been taken to hospital.

"At the moment, there are not any seriously injured among them. Right now, doctors are furnishing all necessary medical assistance," the ministry said on Telegram.

"Emergency medical care is also being provided to people injured in the fire at the scene of the accident and in the surrounding apartments."

Uzbekistan is the most populous of the central Asian former Soviet republics, and fires attributed to dilapidated equipment and poor adherence to safety standards are common there.

Accidents of this magnitude, however, are still rare.

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