Armenian Gas Officials Arrested

YEREVAN (AP)–Two gas agency officials have been charged in an explosion in a children’s sanitarium in Armenia that killed 12 people.

Last week’s blast in a cafeteria at the Jermuk resort was caused by a defective gas pipe that had not been tested before use–Gurgen Ambarian–spokesman for Armenia’s Prosecutor’s Office–said Wednesday.

Gas leaked through badly welded seams in the pipe–accumulated in the cafeteria basement and eventually exploded–Ambarian said.

The regional gas service chief–Knyaz Movsesian–and his deputy–Karapet Yegoyan–were arrested Tuesday and charged with an abuse of office that caused "heavy consequences."

They face two to eight years in prison if convicted.

The children’s complex in Jermuk–a well-known mineral water resort 90 miles southeast of Yerevan–housed children and their mothers.

Thirteen people were injured in the explosion.

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