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Death toll in Armenian rubber plant fire rises to three


YEREVAN, May 14 (RIA Novosti) - Three people are reported to have died in a fire that broke out at a rubber plant in the Armenian capital Yerevan on Thursday, an emergencies ministry official said.

According to preliminary reports, there was an explosion in the chloroprene section at the Nairit Plant which was followed by a fire. Some time later a second powerful explosion occurred.

"The dead are plant employees, who were in the sector at the time of the explosion," Col. Nikolai Grigoryan said, adding that 17 rescue workers had received treatment for burns and toxic gas poisoning.

Grigoryan added that as a result of the fire, no harmful or poisonous substances had been released into the surrounding area.

"Six ambulance crews are currently working at the scene," a medical source said, adding that a number of people, who were slightly injured in the accident, had received medical treatment at the scene. One person is reported to be missing. A total of 27 firefighting units are working at the scene. The fire has already been brought under control. "The fire is quite serious and can be seen from nearly all parts of the city," Grigoryan said. The Nairit Plant has produced chloroprene rubber and latex since 1940.

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