August 25, Sunday

During the morning of 16 July an explosion occurred in one of the four-storey apartment blocks in the 10th residential district of Ashgabat. Household gas allegedly caused the explosion. “Chronicles of Turkmenistan” received the photo of the collapsed house from an anonymous source, which had been taken immediately after the incident when rescue teams arrived at the scene. Our correspondents, who visited the neighbourhood, confirmed the authenticity of images. The explosion occurred in an apartment on the fourth floor. On one side of the house, where the kitchen is located according to the layout design, the wall and the roof were totally destroyed. The adjacent apartments were also affected. It can be seen from the windows that the apartments have been blocked up with concrete slabs. There is no smoke, soot on the walls, burnt wood or other signs of the fire. The district is now totally cordoned off and one can see numerous vehicles of the police, NSM and public prosecutor’s office. They are dispersing passers-by to make sure they take no photos. They start yelling even at those who simply make telephone calls out of fear that the residents might surreptitiously take photos or make videos. We have failed to find out so far whether there are any fatalities and how many people have been injured. In one of the yards near the exploded house сanvas tents (which are usually used during weddings and other festivities) equipped with air conditioners, mattresses and pillows are being put up. Big cooking pots are also being installed here. It appears that these will be used as temporary accommodation for the evacuated inhabitants of the apartment block. It is unclear for the time being whether it has been at the initiative of the authorities or an individual. Interestingly enough, Turkmen pro-government media outlets reported on the incident. Local media outlets had previously refrained from reporting or refuted information about natural disasters, let alone such ...

Turkmenistan chronicles