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Over 140 injured as balloons explode at political rally in Armenia (VIDEO, PHOTOS)

Published time: May 04, 2012 19:17
Edited time: May 05, 2012 00:39

A view shows the explosion of gas-filled balloons during a campaign rally in the central Republic Square in Yerevan (Reuters / Handout)

Download video (4.68 MB)

At least 144 have been injured as hundreds of balloons exploded at a political rally in Armenia’s capital Yerevan. The balloons were filled with helium, according to the country’s Emergency Ministry.

­The balloons exploded near the stage, showering bystanders with molten rubber. Scores of people have been hospitalized with burns of varying degrees.

Preliminary information from the emergency services says that a cigarette could have caused the fire that led to the explosion. An investigation is under way.

The rally, which was being held ahead of the upcoming parliamentary elections, had attracted more than 15,000 participants.

State TV reports that the President Serzh Sargsyan addressed the crowds at the scene 30 minutes after the accident. The report also says that Sargsyan visited those injured in hospital.

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Reuters / Handout
Reuters / Handout

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RIA Novosti / Panarmenian Photo
RIA Novosti / Panarmenian Photo

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Reuters / Handout
Reuters / Handout

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RIA Novosti / Panarmenian Photo
RIA Novosti / Panarmenian Photo

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RIA Novosti / Panarmenian Photo
RIA Novosti / Panarmenian Photo

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RIA Novosti / Panarmenian Photo
RIA Novosti / Panarmenian Photo

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