Lightning strike sparks devastating warehouse explosion in Tashkent, leaving 1 dead and 162 injured, according to official reports from health authorities.
The incident occurred in the early hours of Thursday morning, sending shockwaves through the city and prompting an emergency response.
The Uzbek Ministry of Emergencies swiftly mobilized emergency responders to the scene of the devastating warehouse explosion, which caused a massive fire to erupt.
Despite the initial chaos, authorities have confirmed that the situation is now "under control." However, firefighting efforts are ongoing to fully extinguish the flames.
Tragically, a teenager, believed to be between 16 and 17 years old, lost their life at the scene. The Health Ministry also revealed that 24 of the injured victims have been admitted to hospitals for treatment.
The Ministry of Emergencies wasted no time in coordinating a comprehensive response to the incident.
Specialized organizations and resources were swiftly deployed to contain the blaze, which was successfully controlled by 5:02 a.m. local time on Thursday (8:00 p.m. ET).
Authorities are currently investigating the cause of the warehouse explosion and are committed to providing assistance and support to the victims and their families during this trying time.
Footage shared on social media platforms earlier on Thursday depicted a colossal column of fire and thick smoke billowing into the night sky, illustrating the sheer magnitude of the incident.
Emergency responders work at the scene following an explosion at a warehouse in Tashkent, Uzbekistan, on Thursday.
According to the Ministry of Emergencies, the explosion originated in an area of warehouses owned by Inter Logistics LLC, situated in Tashkent's Sergeli district. The location is in close proximity to Tashkent's international airport.
In the aftermath of the initial explosion, reports indicate that additional explosions continued to reverberate in the area.
The impact was so significant that it led to damage to nearby structures, affecting residents like Moustafo Kutepov, a 72-year-old retiree, who described the scene as reminiscent of an earthquake.
More than 2,000 fire and rescue service personnel were mobilized to battle the flames, underscoring the urgency and scale of the emergency response.
Surprisingly, Tashkent's international airport continued to operate, with flights departing and arriving throughout the night and into Thursday morning, as reported by Flightradar24.
With nearly 3 million residents, Tashkent stands as the largest city in Central Asia and the former Soviet state. The powerful explosion has left the city grappling with the aftermath and the tragic loss of a young life.
While the Ministry of Emergency Situations has not yet confirmed the exact cause of the explosion, Russian state media Tass reported that it may have been triggered by a lightning strike.
It further noted that the warehouse contained numerous electric vehicles and batteries. The blast also resulted in minor damage to the nearby Quruvchilar subway station.
In the wake of the incident, 24 people were hospitalized due to their injuries, while the remaining 138 received medical attention and were subsequently discharged.
Uzbekistan's leading medical specialists are actively involved in treating the casualties, demonstrating a concerted effort to provide the best possible care to those affected.
As investigations continue into the precise cause of this devastating incident, the people of Tashkent and Uzbekistan mourn the loss of a young life and wish for the swift recovery of those injured in the explosion.
In a tragic incident that shook the Uzbek capital of Tashkent, a massive warehouse explosion, suspected to be triggered by a lightning strike, has claimed one life and left 162 people injured.
Emergency responders and medical professionals have worked tirelessly to bring the situation under control and provide aid to those affected.
As investigations into the precise cause continue, the city and its residents grapple with the aftermath of this devastating event, united in mourning and hope for the swift recovery of the injured.