On September 25, a strong explosion occurred in the fuel storage depot of the military unit near Azerbaijan’s Khankendi city. At that time, it was reported that dozens of car owners were standing in line to buy fuel. According to information provided by Azerbaijani and foreign mass media, there are people who were killed and injured as a result of the explosion of the fuel storage depot.
Various versions and misinformation are being spread about this incident. Faktyoxla Lab. (Factcheking Lab.) has conducted research to find out some facts.
Based on the information collected from social media, the incident took place on September 25, 2023 at around 19:07-19:10 local time at the fuel depot of the military unit located on the Khankendi-Asgaran road. (Armenians call this place one of the "Haykazov’s filling stations"-ed.)
Immediately after the incident, the injured were placed in the Khankendi Central Hospital and the medical center of the Russian Peacekeeping Contingent.
In order to help citizens injured in the explosion in Khankendi, Azerbaijani central authorities sent along the Aghdam-Asgaran-Khankendi road an ambulance car carrying medical supplies against burns, bandage materials, gloves, medicines (sprays, creams, painkillers, antibiotics, etc.) for the treatment of 200 people, according to the Administration of the President of the Republic of Azerbaijan.
According to the information distributed by the Telegram channel of the Russian Peacekeeping Contingent, the military doctors of the contingent continue to provide emergency aid to the victims of the explosion. “As many as 23 people with skin and upper respiratory tract burns of various degrees were taken to the medical center of the Russian Peacekeeping Contingent.”
The following inconsistencies were detected:
- The first video released about the incident on the Khankendi-Asgaran road is fake. The fire incident occurred on January 23, 2021 in Novosibirsk, Russia.
2. Immediately after the explosion, a number of Armenian telegram channels simultaneously spread false information that the number of the dead was more than 100. Later, the Armenian media confirmed that 200 people were injured and 7 people were killed. In the meantime, lists of the names of the wounded who were hospitalized were distributed in Armenian telegram channels. The names of 178 people are mentioned in that list. If we take into account that the number of wounded people who received treatment at the Russian peacekeepers’ medical center is 23, the figure of 200 is correct.
- People from Karabakh who are close to the former Armenian leadership began to constantly demand that the wounded be taken to Yerevan by special medical aviation.
It was noted that Azerbaijan is taking all necessary measures for the treatment of those injured in the incident. The medical staff of the Russian contingent also provide some support in this case. Why do Armenian bloggers and politicians insist on opening a special flight? If we refer to what was written on social media and the opinion of those who closely followed the events, it is possible to put forward this version: the explosion was purposefully committed by people close to Ruben Vardanyan, Arayik Arutunyan and other leaders of the terrorist regime, so that terrorists who couldn’t pass through the Lachin Border Checkpoint, as well as those who committed war crimes in the first Karabakh war, as well as wanted criminals, can leave the territory of Azerbaijan.
- Shortly after the explosion, the pro-Armenian blogger Alexander Lapshin made a false claim on his Telegram channel that the incident was committed by Azerbaijan. He said that "the explosion of a gas tank in Stepanakert (Khankendi-ed.) is a terrorist act purposefully carried out by Azerbaijan. Considering that we are talking about gasoline sent from Azerbaijan by SOCAR (as they say in the news), the explosives were activated by them. Gasoline doesn't explode by itself, it's not Hollywood for you, it's school physics." This claim was spread by most Armenian mass media and telegram channels.
Of course, this claim is ridiculous and false. This information, which we obtained on one of the Armenian social media platforms, confirms that the statements are fake and were made by an Armenian resident. One follower writes, “I just talked to one of the people there. A dog (it is not correct to call him an Armenian) approached one of the cisterns while smoking a cigarette.” “Maybe they are peacekeepers” comment written by user named Sev L., the mentioned Armenian resident replied that “they were ours.” Another user commented, “Azeris are not to blame, these are our jackals.”
- Highlights from videos and photos taken shortly after the explosion.
- It is not noticed that a large number of cars and people have gathered in the area, and it seems that the cars of civilians are parked at a great distance from the place where the incident happened.
-It is observed that the building and cars near the place of the incident were not damaged.
- In the video taken shortly after the explosion, it was observed that the image was recorded normally at the first moment, but after 3-4 seconds, both the area and the faces of the people were shown with low-quality, out-of-focus footage for some reason. It is still not possible to clarify the reason.
-The faces of the witnesses of the incident or the relatives of the injured and the surrounding area were covered with a net with special effects in the photo shoots conducted by the Russian contingent at the post established near the area where the incident took place. The reason for this step is unknown.
- It is also puzzling that those who want to go to Armenia’s Goris with their private car turn to the fuel reserve of the military unit belonging to the terrorist regime for gasoline. Armenian sources confirm that each family is given 10 liters of gasoline to go to Goris. When such conditions are created, it is not understandable that hundreds of people came to the fuel depot of the military unit and stood in line for gasoline there.
- In the explosion in the fuel tank of the military unit near Khankendi, the number of injured is not 290, but 200 people, the number of dead is not 100, but 7 people;
- Armenians themselves also mention the version that the event was committed by an Armenian resident;
- Demanding by people close to the terrorist regime and the media to transport the wounded by special medical air transport vehicles strengthens the possibility that the fire was started for the purpose of "evacuation" of terrorists who did not dare to pass through the Lachin Border Checkpoint, as well as those who committed war crimes in the first Karabakh war.