The explosion in the gasoline warehouse of Stepanakert was not accidental

  • by Western Armenia, January 13, 2024 in Politics
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Vazgen Grigoryan, a 31-year-old resident of Artsakh, remembers the moments before the tragic explosion of the gasoline warehouse in Stepanakert that killed 218 people, was  not accidental.

A man who participated in three wars and is the sole breadwinner of his family is one of the victims of the tragic explosion on September 25 last year. Vazgen tells to NEWS.am how the incident happened: due to the lack of fuel, many people could not leave Artsakh, and when they learned that there was gasoline in the warehouse near the Stepanakert-Askera highway, everyone rushed there.

I looked up to see if it was a drone, I thought it might be from our people less than a minute later I heard a crack and there was a crash. The shot was directly from the bunker, as if it had been planned , it crashed, I fell down. Whoever was at the top fell down, whoever fell down, a thick panel fell on someone, I pushed him from the bottom, where I was, there were many people, everyone died, I'm lucky, I'm the only one who survived. Those who  I wanted to help were people who had already lost consciousness, one was crying, the other was screaming, one was under the panel, my condition was bad, I couldn't wait too long, as I had to save myself.  I saw how people were melting.

I went away from the fire, there was a crack, it happened later, the height of the fire was about 30 meters, you couldn't do anything, the only thing in your mind was to call  the emergency for  help. There were  many people and there were cars, there was no way for the emergency vehicles to reach us. There was no ambulances.

 My neighbor met   me and took me to the hospital," he said.

Vazgen says that there was not even a place to stand in Stepanakert hospital, and as a result of the blockade, there were not even bandages and medicine in the hospital. "It was a very bad situation, a lot of people were there , everyone was on fire, there was no place to stand. 2 doctors were left, they left safely, half of them found out and came back from the road. I remember that they brought me to a stretcher, they laid me down, they turned on the system, I closed my eyes, I couldn't open them anymore, I could only hear the voices, I couldn't open them because of the wounds, I don't remember anything else, I remember that they took me to a helicopter , they brought Sisiya, then I already remember that I was lying in Yerevan."

The fingers of Vazgen's right hand, who received 4th degree burns, were amputated in the hospital, he says, it was a difficult decision, but if they had delayed one more day, the hand would have had to be amputated. "I said, is there no way to save it? The doctor said, you have a lot of wounds, and it will hurt you. I said, I'll cut it, what can I do? It's important that I survive. He said, let's cut it at the end, so it won't be too late, let's cut your hand already, I need my hands. I am a boy in work  the operation went well, I got used to it, but I was not well, but when I was looking at another patient who had no arms or legs, I said he is better.

Vazgen underwent a long treatment. He was in the hospital for 2 months, of which 3 weeks in the intensive care unit. Only in Yerevan, in the hospital, he learnt that the family was able to be saved and reach Armenia.

Now Vazgen, his wife and his elderly parents live in Yerevan, in a rented house. Only the wife s  father  works. They don't know how they will pay the house rent when the support programs of the state, already ended. Vazgen hopes to get prosthetics and find a job.

It should be noted that as a result of the tragic explosion, 21 people are still considered missing, there are 3 unidentified bodies. Only one of the 120 victims is currently receiving treatment in the hospital. Their  condition is serious, reported the Minister of Health, Anahit Avanesyan.

Argishti Kyaramyan, the chairman of the Investigative Committee, also spoke about the incident. He noted that the case is being investigated within the framework of the criminal proceedings being investigated on the basis of ethnic cleansing carried out by Azerbaijan in Artsakh.

He said that after the dissolution of the Artsakh Defense Army, the army provided approximately 42 thousand tons of gasoline bunkers to the citizens.