Hundreds Injured during Election Rally Explosion

An explosion rocked the Republican Party election rally (photo PanArmenian.net)

YEREVAN—Armenia’s Emergency Ministry said hundreds of people have been injured after clusters of balloons exploded in Republic Square during a Republican Party of Armenia election rally ahead of Sunday’s vote.

The ministry also said 144 of them had to be hospitalized with burns after Friday’s explosion, which it said was caused by a smoker who lit a cigarette near the balloons.

According to information provided by the ministry, 30 people were taken to Yerevan’s Radiotherapy Center; 20 to Heratsi hospital, 20 to Ambulance Service hospital; 20 to Nairi medical center; 20 to Armenia medical center; 9 to Clinical Hospital No 1; seven to Muratsan medical center; and two children were taken to Surb Astvatsatsin maternity hospital.

The balloons were supposed to be flown at the Republican Party’s rally that drew tens of thousands of Armenians. Despite the accident, Armenian President Serzh Sarkisian addressed the rally with a speech.

Sarkisian later toured the hospitals where the injured were transported and visited the victims of the accident.

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10 Comments

  1. Vahe Y said:

    Lack of safety measures and professional standards…if the Republican Party can’t organize a safe campaign event, then how can they manage to run the government? Sadly, the campaign event is reflective of Armenia’s dysfunctional and incompetent government, lead by the Republicans…its ministers, members of parliament, and on and on…

    Oh one more thing, which is quite disgusting…”Despite the accident, Armenian President Serzh Sarkisian addressed the rally with a speech.”….typical…of course…why should they stop?

    The organizers of this event should be prosecuted. It’s that simple.

  2. Arman said:

    Were these balloons filled with HYDROGEN and not HELIUM????

  3. ARA said:

    ODD indeed- Balloons exploded! what? what is going on with balloon explosions?

  4. Hamik C Gregory said:

    Instead of inflating their blooms with helium, they probably inflated them with hydrogen-an explosive combustible gas.
    Helium, an inert gas, is found in nature, and if I am not mistaken, it’s underground reservoirs must be mined to extract it. Except for scientific use, the gas might have been to expensive for the Armenians to use so they substituted it with something less expensive and more readily available like hydrogen.
    These explosions remind me of the old hydrogen air ships and dirigibles of decades ago that sometimes exploded mid air.

  5. Wally the Robot said:

    Foreign entity attempts to destabilize Armenia.

    • christo said:

      Exactly my sentiments. I wonder if the balloons or the equipment were donated by what foreign embassy?

      • Vahe Y said:

        There was no foreign involvement and embassies do not donate equipment or services to political party events. This was not a Republic of Armenia event – it was an event organized by a group of incompetent, unprofessional, and careless individuals led by the Republican Party of Armenia. Of course, there is no regard for public safety and concern, because quite frankly no one cares. So please do not bring the “foreign involvement” as a cause as it has absolutely no basis.

  6. Avetis said:

    Sabotage(!), just prior to the parliamentary elections so that Armenian idiots like the ones we see frequenting this place can use the incident in question against the state.

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