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Wednesday, October 16th, 2019

Death Toll From Kazakh Munitions Warehouse Blasts In June Rises To Four

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NURSULTAN The death toll from a series of massive explosions caused by fire at a military ammunition warehouse in Kazakhstan in June has risen to four.

Eightyearold Ayan Sharipbaev, who was seriously injured during the evacuation of the town of Arys, died in a hospital in NurSultan.

The boy’s father Erbol Sharipbaev and hospital personnel told RFE/RL that the boy died while in a coma on August 2.

Kazakh officials said earlier that the blasts killed a local resident and two military officers.

The blasts originated at an ammunition warehouse in Arys early on June 24 and lasted for four days.

Some 35,000 residents of the town fled their homes and returned days later after authorities lifted the state of emergency.

Kazakh officials said that 85 percent of the town’s buildings, mainly private houses, had been damaged by heavy smoke, shock waves, and flying debris from the blasts.

The government has promised to rebuild the houses, but some residents have already complained that the rebuilding efforts have been too slow.

In June, hundreds of people rallied and blocked a major road demanding to be relocated permanently because they were afraid to go back as the June blasts were just the latest in a series of explosions to hit the depot since 2009.

Kazakh President QasymZhomart Toqaev has vowed to punish the people responsible for the situation.

Copyright (c) 2015. RFE/RL, Inc. Reprinted with the permission of Radio Free Europe/Radio Liberty, 1201 Connecticut Ave NW, Ste 400, Washington DC 20036.

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