At least 13 people have been injured after a fire sparked a huge explosion at a gas station in southwest Russia.

Iran Press/Europe: Footage of the blast showed an enormous fireball shooting into the sky over the city of Volgograd.

Ten of those injured were taken to hospital, local media reported.

The victims included firefighters who had been called to the petrol station to tackle the initial blaze at 12.40 pm local time (8.40 am GMT), according to Russia’s emergencies ministry.

“The firefighters were literally shattered by a blast wave,” Vladislav Kopyev, head of the region’s 1st fire and rescue unit, was quoted by the ministry as saying.

The initial fire is believed to have been sparked by a discharge of static electricity as fuel was pumped from a tanker to an underground storage tank.

Staff had evacuated the station before the blast went off and caused a larger blaze, which spread over 1,000 square meters.

Seventy firefighters tackled the fire. Crews deployed a firefighting robot, which they steered remotely to the center of the blaze to extinguish it.

Dramatic of the explosion has been shared widely on social media, with many viewers comparing it to the blast at Beirut’s port that killed at least 137 people in the Lebanese capital last week.


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