Aaron in Azerbaijan

Just another blog about Azerbaijan.

An Update to the Masallı Explosion

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There is all sorts of speculation spinning wildly out of control in the area after last week’s explosion at the Masallı telecommunications building.  Within the first few hours we had heard that it was terrorism, a possible gas leak, or an electrical explosion (something like a transformer).  Looking at the picture from this story, and hearing from some PCVs who happened to see what’s left of the building, it sounds like it was a fairly big deal.  Unfortunately, we currently are back to zero when it comes to figuring out what went wrong.

According to the news sources, we aren’t going to hear much about the cause of the explosion for a little while yet.  While the investigation into its causes is ongoing, they won’t give us anything specific.  In the meantime, we have rumor and hearsay to fill in the gaps.  Added to our stock of information are a few tidbits of interesting developments.  First, I’m hearing that the building itself didn’t actually have working gas lines installed.  That makes a gas leak explosion seem unlikely.  Second, judging by the size of the explosion, it seems also that an electricity problem (transformer explosion?) doesn’t fit.  Last, I’ve also heard that the director of that building has already been sacked.  Why would that be?  If it was terrorism, is that director really the one who should take the fall because his building was targeted?

Unfortunately, the reality is that two people have died as a result of the explosion, a few more were injured.  Communications and operations were delayed or suspended because of the down telecommunications system (one bank here was having problems with wire transfers because of the southern communications being interrupted).  All considered, effects outside of Masallı seem to have been very few.


Written by Aaron

February 13, 2011 at 8:05 pm

Posted in Uncategorized

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