ArmInfo.There is no risk of a new explosion on the territory of the Surmalu shopping center, but there may be a some smoke effect in some areas. Deputy Minister of Emergency Situations of Armenia David Hambaryan told journalists on Tuesday.
According to him, an attempt is being made using audiovisual means to find out the presence of explosive materials in the buildings of the center, since it is now almost impossible to enter the buildings themselves due to the presence of dangers for rescuers.
The Deputy Minister stressed that at present there is evidence of the bodies of two foreign citizens being under the rubble. Referring to the inconsistency in the numbers of the casualties , Hambaryan did not rule out that there may be technical problems. In any case, he called for the use of data that is periodically provided by the Ministry of Emergency Situations. The Deputy Minister confirmed that 16 people are dead, the bodies of 14 of them have been identified, one of them is a minor.
Hambaryan noted that it is still difficult to talk about the timing of the completion of search and rescue operations, which are going quite intensively. <The main goal is to search for the living people left under the rubble. There is hope, even if it is small, even though it will be a miracle. However, this hope is dwindling every day. Our task today is to free the territory from debris, after which we will turn to the buildings themselves>, the Deputy Minister noted, adding that no other work is being carried out in the buildings, except for cooling. He noted that a plan for further actions regarding rear structures is already needed, and representatives of other departments should be involved in the development of this plan.
On August 14 at 13:23 a powerful explosion was heard on the territory of the Surmalu shopping center, which led to a strong fire. As of the morning of August 16, 16 people were killed, 8 citizens are missing, more than 61 people were hospitalized. In connection with the incident, a criminal case was initiated.