Search and rescue operations unlikely to be completed today in the area of Surmalu shopping center
10:30 - 17 August, 2022

Search and rescue operations unlikely to be completed today in the area of Surmalu shopping center

 Search and rescue operations continued throughout the night in Surmalu shopping center. Cooling operations are also being carried out, Deputy Minister of Emergency Situations Artyush Grigoryan told about this in a conversation with journalists at the scene of the incident.

According to him, there are still 2 citizens missing.

"The identity of one of the 16 victims has not been identified. If one of the two missing citizens is the unidentified citizen, then we have only one person missing. According to the information we have, the missing citizen was at the entrance of the first floor of the building at the time of the explosion, therefore we will conduct search and rescue operations in the very nearby areas of this three-story building, which cause additional complications in the sense that there is a risk of the building collapsing, there is rubble in the immediate vicinity of the building. Now we will try to carry out search operations around the rubble and under it," he noted.

The deputy minister added that they invited specialists from the ministry's seismic service, as well as from a private company:

"We are consulting on how to carry out the search and rescue operations so as not to cause additional damage, and our specialists are not harmed in any way."

According to Grigoryan, it is unlikely that the works will be completed today, though it is not impossible and everything depends on when they find the last citizen missing.

Grigoryan also mentioned that rescue dogs participate in the work. 

"We have certain information about where he will be, now our rescue dogs will also tell us where to look. Basically, in the back and side of this building, from the first floor of which the fire and the explosion happened, we have to search mainly in that area."

He also informed that 70% of the work of cleaning the rubble has been carried out.

Earlier on August 14, at 1:23 p.m., the National Crisis Management Center was alerted that an explosion and fire occurred in the "Surmalu" shopping center located at 15 Arshakunyats Street in Yerevan, as a result of which the three-story building partially collapsed.

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