Hours after the incident at the Surmalu market when there was news only about one dead, Serdar Kilic, whom Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan had appointed special representative for talks with Yerevan, posted his condolences on Twitter.
“I am deeply shocked by the news about the powerful explosion that took place in the open-air shopping center in the center of Yerevan. I would like to express my sincere condolences to the family of the victim and wish a speedy recovery to all those injured as a result of this tragedy,” Kilic wrote, addressing his post to Armenia’s representative at the talks Ruben Rubinian and the Armenian Foreign Ministry.
At least six people were killed and 61 injured as a result of yesterday’s explosions and fire at the sprawling wholesale market in Yerevan selling, among other things, fireworks and other pyrotechnic materials.
Search and rescue operations still continue on the scene as 15 people are considered missing.
Armenian authorities said that initial investigation showed two large explosions brought down part of a building housing fireworks.
It was not immediately clear what caused the fireworks to detonate, but investigators are now looking into a possible breach of fire-safety regulations.
Armenian Prime Minister Nikol Pashinian visited the scene of the search and rescue operations early on Monday.
Armenia and Turkey have no diplomatic relations. Last year Pashinian and Turkish President Erdogan initiated a process of normalizing relations after decades of feud between the two nations over historical events, including the Ottoman-era genocide of Armenians that Turkey denies.
The two leaders had a phone call in July, in particular, exchanging congratulations on different religious festivals marked in their countries during those days.
Kilic and Rubinian have held four rounds of normalization talks since the beginning of this year.