YEREVAN — A bus exploded on Halabyan Street in Yerevan at 9:51 pm, the Ministry of Emergency Situations reports. According to the preliminary information, the blast has left two persons dead and seven wounded.
The injured have been taken to Armenia Medical Center. According preliminary information, the blast took place in N 63 bus near 11 Halabyan street.
The Ministry of Emergency Situations identified the injured as Hasmik Suren Melkonyan (born in 1963), Anush Arshaluys Yeghikyan (born in 1979), Harutyun Nazar Terzyan (born in 1971), Edgar Arayik Gasparyan (born in 20020, Anahit Sargis Mikaelyan (born in 2002), Roland Surik Khojayan (born in 2001). The deceased victims are yet to be identified.
The explosion occurred on the 63rd line of the municipal bus route. The injured have been transported to Armenia Medical Center for treatment.
Edgar Gaspryan and Roland Khojyan are in grave condition, doctors say.
The cause of the explosion was not immediately known. Asked whether the blast may have been caused by a bomb, a spokesman for the Armenian police told reporters: “It’s premature to speak of that.”
The national police chief, Vladimir Gasparian, did not rule out such a possibility when he spoke to journalists at the scene shortly afterwards. According to the Armenpress news agency, Gasparian said the blast occurred on or under a second-row bus seat. Police investigators are now trying to identify a passenger who possibly occupied that seat, he said.
President Serzh Sarkisian orders tighter Security measures
President Serzh Sarkisian ordered the Armenian police to tighten security after the bus explosion.
In a statement on the incident issued shortly after midnight, President Serzh Sarkisian’s press secretary, Vladimir Hakobian, said law-enforcement officers and rescue teams are working at the scene of the blast. “The president of the republic is periodically briefed on the course of the works,” he said.
The statement said Sarkisian ordered the police to “step up security and patrol services” in the Armenian capital.
“The Ministry of Health is taking necessary measures to provide medical assistance to the wounded persons,” it added. “We call on the public to refrain from spreading unverified information.”
Two of the passengers, boys aged 14 and 15, suffered particularly serious wounds and underwent urgent surgery in a Yerevan hospital. Doctors there said their life is not at risk.