Fire at Russian fuel station kills 30, scores injured

MOSCOW (Reuters) -A fire at a fuel station in the southern Russian region of Dagestan late on Monday killed at least 30 people including three children, Russia’s emergency services ministry said on Tuesday.

The fire started at an auto repair shop on the roadside of a highway in Dagestani capital Makhachkala on Monday night and caused blasts as it spread to the nearby filling station, officials said.

“It’s like a war here,” a witness said.

Images shared by the emergency services ministry showed firefighters trying to put out a colossal blaze as flames rose high in the night sky.

Footage posted online showed a one-storey building ablaze, Reuters TV reported.

“During the rescue operation in Makhachkala, the bodies of three more victims were found,” the ministry said on Telegram. “According to the updated information, as a result of the fire at the petrol station 105 were injured, and of them, 30 died.”

Thirteen of the wounded were children, Interfax reported earlier, citing the Dagestani health ministry.

It took firefighters more than 3-1/2 hours to put out the fire that spread into an area of 600 square metres (715 square yards), TASS reported, citing a statement from the Russian emergency service.

(Reporting by Maria Tsvetkova and Maxim Rodionov; additional reporting by Alexander Marrow; Editing by Chris Reese, Muralikumar Anantharaman & Simon Cameron-Moore)