A powerful explosion in the Uzbek capital, Tashkent, killed a teenage boy Thursday and injured at least 162 people following a fire caused by a lightning strike, Uzbekistan’s Ministry of Health said.
The Ministry of Emergency Situations said the explosion happened early in the morning at a warehouse in southern Tashkent but did not say what was inside it to cause the powerful blast which it said was attended by 16 fire crews.
Russian state media Tass later reported that the warehouse contained several dozen electric vehicles and batteries. It said that the explosion also caused minor damage to the nearby Quruvchilar subway station.
Video and photos posted on social media showed a fire and cloud of smoke that was visible across Tashkent, as well as apartments that had reportedly been damaged by the force of the blast.
Twenty-four people were hospitalized after the explosion and the remaining 138 were treated for their injuries and sent home according to the health ministry which added that Uzbekistan's leading medical specialists were treating the casualties.