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Russian tourists killed in Abkhazia warehouse explosion

3 August 2017
(Still from video)

Two people were killed and 60 injured after a military warehouse exploded in Abkhazia on 2 August, according to the Russian embassy there. People have been evacuated from the village of Primorskoye, where the explosion occurred as well as the surrounding area.

The two dead were 47-year-old Yelena Panakova, and 55-year-old Yelena Timofeyeva,  both Russian tourists from St Petersburg.

According to Mizan Lomiya, spokesperson for Abkhazia’s Ministry of Emergency Situations, the two Russian tourists along with one other were near the warehouse when it exploded. The third tourist was taken to hospital.”

Thirty-five of the injured people were Russian citizens, who arrived in Abkhazia as tourists, including two children.

In its statement on Facebook, the Russian Embassy wrote that they ‘have taken the situation under control’.

The cause of the explosion is not yet known, and the head of the Investigative Committee of Russia, Aleksandr Bastrykin, has instructed the committee to investigate.

Svetlana Petrenko from the investigative committee said that if an offense was committed against Russian citizens, then the offender will have to bear responsibility under Russian law.

Abkhazian President Raul Khadzhimba has created a state commission to respond to the explosion, headed by Prime Minister Beslan Bartsits, according to the Russian state-owned news site, Sputnik Abkhazia.

An investigation for possible negligence has been launched by the Military Prosecutor of Abkhazia, according to Sputnik.

For ease of reading, we choose not to use qualifiers such as ‘de facto’, ‘unrecognised’, or ‘partially recognised’ when discussing institutions or political positions within Abkhazia, Nagorno-Karabakh, and South Ossetia. This does not imply a position on their status.

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