September 28 (Reuters) – Uzbekistan’s Ministry of Emergency Situations said on Thursday that a fire caused by a powerful explosion at a warehouse near Tashkent airport had been contained and the situation was under control.
The cause of the explosion was not clear, as there were reports of “strong lightning” and no reports of injuries or deaths. The ministry said that a “special laboratory” had been established at the scene to investigate the explosion.
“As a result of the quick actions of FVV employees, the area of the fire has been reduced,” the ministry said via messaging app Telegram. “The situation is completely under control.”
Videos and photos on social media showed flames rising into the night sky and a huge cloud of smoke.
Data from flight tracking website FlightRadar24 showed that flights at Tashkent International Airport appeared to be taking off and landing as usual.
A notice to pilots issued at 2215 GMT on Wednesday said that the airport’s runway would be closed for takeoffs and landings between 0200 GMT and 0700 GMT on Thursday, but part of it would be available for taxis. She did not provide a reason.
According to a social media post from Uzbek media outlet Dario, 16 fire and rescue crews were sent to fight the fire in a warehouse located in the Sergeli district of the city near the airport.
(Reporting by Akanksha Khushi in Bengaluru; Preparing by Mohammed for the Arabic Bulletin) Writing by Michael Perry. Editing by Tom Hogue, Jamie Freed and Lincoln Feast.
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