A gas explosion caused by a traffic accident killed six people and injured 14 in the Mongolian capital Ulaanbaatar early Wednesday, authorities said in this vast landlocked country between China and Russia.
A truck carrying 60 tonnes of liquefied natural gas (LNG) exploded on Tuesday night after colliding with a car, Mongolia's National Emergency Management Agency (Nema) reported.
“Three people died in the fire,” Nema said in a report that is subject to change, while three firefighters also died and 14 people were injured.
Four children are among the injured. According to Mongolian authorities, ten adults are being treated for burns.
An AFP correspondent saw the charred carcass of the truck at the scene.
Rescue workers received a call shortly after 1 a.m. local time (Tuesday, 5 p.m. GMT), Mongolia's disaster management agency said.
Rescue workers were dispatched to the scene and the fire was extinguished.
Nema said residents of a neighboring building were temporarily relocated while surrounding streets were closed while authorities cleared the site of the explosion.
Temperatures reached -24°C in Ulaanbaatar last night.
Images released by Nema show huge flames on a city street and significant damage in the area, including blown out windows of a school.
“I would like to express my sincere condolences to the families and members of Nema for their colleagues who lost their lives in this tragic event,” US Ambassador to Mongolia Richard Buangan wrote on Twitter (renamed X).
For her part, the European Union ambassador to the country, Axelle Nicaise, said she was “shocked” by the accident.