The president of Uzbekistan has given a government commission three days to get to the bottom of what caused a huge blast at an industrial warehouse in Tashkent early September 28 that left one teenager dead and injured 162 people.
The city hall has said 600 apartments across 26 high-rise buildings were damaged as a result of the explosion at a warehouse in a district not far from the airport. Other infrastructure damaged by the blast included a school and two kindergarten buildings.
Emergency officials say that the explosion occurred around 2:43 a.m., giving rise to a blaze that spread across an area of 15,000 square meters. The fire took eight hours to extinguish, the Emergency Services Ministry said.
Interior Ministry investigators opened an investigation into suspected fire safety violations hours after incident.
The 16-person commission investigating this incident is to be led by deputy prime minister Ochilboy Ramatov. In addition to probing the root causes of the blast, the commission’s remit will include implementing swift measures to mitigate losses, providing medical and psychological assistance to victims, and inspecting affected residential properties.
State news media have reported that the warehouse where the explosion took place was managed or owned by a company called Inter Logistics. Local business news outlet Spot.uz described the company as having been founded in turn by another two entities. The larger stake in that partnership is said to be held by United Arab Emirates-based Integra Benefits Investments.
The State Customs Committee described the facility as a storage area for imported items awaiting clearance from customs officials.