They said that, aside from the eight confirmed deaths, 23 others remain missing at the site of the disaster, including six Iranians and one Russian national.
A least 12 more victims were being treated at a local hospital for their injuries. The total number of people who were treated for their injuries after the Sunday blast was over 60.
Officials said the fire at the Surmalu market, about two kilometers south of the center of Armenia’s capital city, still had not been completely contained.
Emergencies Minister Armen Pambukhchian told reporters late on August 15 that he could not confirm reports that rescuers had located a possible survivor under rubble.
“We do not confirm this information at the moment,” he said. “We are now carrying out search and rescue operations in this area, including using special equipment, that is, cameras.”
Pambukhchian was earlier quoted as “almost” ruling out terrorism as a cause of the incident.
“Watching the footage of the explosion, we almost rule out such a theory [that a bomb had been planted], because first there was smoke, then fire covering some small area, then came an explosion,” he said. “Quite a large amount of explosive materials was stored there.”
A blast and subsequent fire at Surmalu sent a towering cloud of smoke over the capital on August 14, shared on social media. The explosion was in an area where fireworks and other pyrotechnic materials are stored.
The building surrounding the site of the blast and fire was initially still standing but very shaky, according to Deputy Emergency Situations Minister Davit Hambarian.