Vote 2012: Accident at RPA rally causes 144 injuries

Vote 2012: Accident at RPA rally causes 144 injuries


An explosion at the final parliamentary election campaign of the Republican Party of Armenia Friday evening sent 144 people to hospital for treatment of burns.

It is believed that the blast occurred as a result of a cigarette igniting a gas-filled balloon setting off larger explosions at around 7:30 p.m.

The accident occurred prior to an address by President Serzh Sargsyan, who carried on with his speech without mention of the incident. Later, the president visited some who had been taken to hospital by the several ambulances that responded to calls at Republic Square where the rally was staged.

In a statement released by his press office later on Friday President Sargsyan described the accident as "a blow to us all", but called for calm, giving assurances that those responsible for the accident would be called to account. Meanwhile, he also stressed that all those who suffered injuries in the multiple gas-filled balloon explosions had been receiving all necessary medical treatment and care and in their further rehabilitiation, if need be, "the best foreign specialists would be invited to Armenia."