A handout still image taken from handout video provided by the Russian Emergencies ministry press service shows emergency ministry servicemen work at the site of the explosion in a car service building and following fire at the gas station in Makhachkala, Republic of Dagestan, Russia, 15 August 2023. EFE-EPA/RUSSIAN EMERGENCIES MINISTRY HANDOUT HANDOUT EDITORIAL USE ONLY/NO SALES

35 die in blast at gas station in Russia’s Dagestan

Moscow, Aug 15 (EFE).- At least 35 people died, including three children, and another 80 were injured in an explosion opposite a service station in the Republic of Dagestan, according to the local authorities on Tuesday.

The Emergencies Ministry said the blast occurred Monday night in Makhachkala, the capital of Russia’s southernmost region.

“The causes and nature of the explosion are being investigated,” Dagestan’s top official, Sergey Melnikov, told reporters. “Fuel tanks across from the gas station exploded, which caused an ignition and a fire.”

Melnikov decreed Tuesday a day of mourning throughout the republic.

According to the investigative committee, the fire that caused the explosion at the petrol station originated in an adjacent car repair shop.

According to Dagestan’s Interior Ministry, two of the gas station’s eight fuel tanks exploded.

The authorities initiated criminal proceedings for providing services without respecting security measures.

The regional government announced a compensation of 1 million roubles (some $10,000) for the families of the dead and 400,000 roubles for those injured.

In a message released by the Kremlin, Russian President Vladimir Putin expressed his condolences to the relatives of the dead and wished a speedy recovery to the injured. EFE