In Ulaanbaatar, Mongolia, a devastating incident unfolded on Wednesday as a gas explosion, triggered by a collision involving a truck carrying 60 tons of liquefied natural gas (LNG) and a car, resulted in six fatalities and left 14 individuals injured, according to authorities.
The Mongolian National Emergency Management Agency (NEMA) reported on its website that the collision occurred in the early hours, leading to a massive explosion that claimed three lives in the immediate fire. Shockingly, three firefighters also lost their lives in the line of duty, while 14 people were rushed for medical treatment.
Ten of the injured victims are being treated for burns, while one child is undergoing treatment for poisoning, and three infants are receiving care. Emergency services, captured in images shared by NEMA, battled the inferno that engulfed the street in the early morning hours.
Rescue teams swiftly responded to the scene, successfully extinguishing the flames. However, the aftermath revealed the grim consequences, with images depicting the charred remains of two vehicles and extensive damage to the surrounding area, including blown-out windows at a nearby school.
An eyewitness on the scene observed the mangled wreckage of the truck, reduced to twisted metal. NEMA reported that residents of a nearby apartment block were temporarily relocated, and roads in the vicinity were closed as authorities commenced debris cleanup operations.
Expressing condolences, US Ambassador to Mongolia Richard Buangan conveyed his deep sadness and sympathies to the families and colleagues of the NEMA staff members who tragically lost their lives in the incident. Meanwhile, the EU’s ambassador to Mongolia, Axelle Nicaise, expressed shock and devastation over the unfortunate accident.
This heart-wrenching gas explosion serves as a stark reminder of the inherent dangers associated with transporting hazardous materials, prompting authorities to emphasize the importance of stringent safety measures to prevent such tragedies in the future.