By Shakeh Avoyan
A powerful explosion of natural gas rocked a neighborhood in central Yerevan on Friday, killing two people and completely destroying two houses.
Police said a 35-year-old woman identified as Irina Kareyan and her 18-year-old daughter, Anna, were found dead in the rubble of their two-story house. It was torn down by an adjacent house that crumbled after the blast early in the morning, according to eyewitnesses. Three of its residents were hospitalized with serious burns.
A spokesman for the Armenian interior ministry told RFE/RL that an official inquiry has been launched into the incident which the authorities believe resulted from the leakage of liquefied gas in the house kitchen.
Many Armenian households use liquefied gas for cooking. The fuel is stored and sold in special gas tanks.