Eyewitnesses of Ashgabat explosion claim they saw bodies of the victims

During the night of 17 July the debris of the house hit by the explosion the day before was cleared away.

A large number of various machinery, including cranes, excavators and bulldozers, was deployed at the scene of the incident.

Correspondents of Chronicles of Turkmenistan managed to interview some eyewitnesses.

According to one of the neighbors, the explosion hit between 7 and 8 a.m. when many people were still asleep. After being awoken by the loud noise, he rushed to the window to see a collapsed apartment block with the body of a child or a young girl lying on the ground.

The ambulance arrived ten minutes later and a few minutes after that the police were at the scene. After the explosion the inhabitants of the apartment block rushed onto the street and they claim they saw paramedics from the ambulance taking the body which had been lying in the backyard. Five more bodies were taken out of the house.

When the debris was cleared away, some noticed that ambulance cars loaded big sacks on board and transported them away.

In the meantime it is not possible to confirm or refute the witnesses' accounts.

According to progovernment media outlets, which for the first time ever reported about such an incident, no fatalities were recorded and 7 people were injured with one being in critical condition.

According to one of such websites, the inhabitants of 12 apartments were evacuated. The authorities promised to provide them with new accommodation.

As for the remaining apartments, as of now employees of the Ministry of Construction are carrying out an examination and trying to assess whether the house can still be used. At the same time, an official from Ashgabat's khyakimlik's office said that, regardless of the conclusions made by the Ministry of Construction, the apartment building will be included in the capital renovation program and promised to provide all its inhabitants with new alternative accommodation within the shortest possible time.

Employees of the municipal gas department have already been instructed to conduct unannounced inspections.

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Source: Chronicles of Turkmenistan