BISHKEK. At least seven people were killed and nearly 40 others injured in the Kyrgyz capital Bishkek today when a blast ripped through a market selling fireworks. The explosion occurred at the crowded Dordoi market, one of the largest wholesale markets in the country.
First Deputy Prime Minister Kurmanbek Osmonov said at today's press conference in Bishkek that a special government commission has been set up to investigate the case. According to him, it's too early to say what caused the blast: "It is too early to say anything about the cause (of the explosion), but I would like to use this opportunity to urge the people of Kyrgyzstan, especially offices and enterprises (organizing New Year's Eve celebrations across the country) - to take all the necessary security measures, especially when using inflammable and explosive materials (for fireworks) and be careful during the organization of New Year's parties for children."
Fireworks are popular items in the run-up to the New Year's holiday. The local authorities are trying to urge people not to use them without the special experts' assistance.