Tag Archives: fire

Uzbekistan says wants to reform power sector; three workers killed

TASHKENT/JAN. 18 2021 (The Bulletin) — Uzbekistan’s government announced a raft of reforms to its under-pressure power production sector that it hopes will fix outages that have caused shortages and disrupted supplies this winter.

But, a couple of days after publishing its plans to build nine new power plants and to tear down a government monopoly that has run the power generation system in Uzbekistan since it was set up in the Soviet Union, news filtered through that a blast at a thermal power plant had killed three workers.

Media reports said that the three workers were part of a team that were renovating and upgrading the Angren thermal power plant, renovated in 2016 by a Chinese company, near the Uzbek capital.

The blast was triggered by a mixture of coal and dust and air, the Uzbek emergencies ministry said, and immediately highlighted what campaigners have said is the cavalier attitude of Uzbek officials to health and safety issues.

Demand for power in Uzbekistan has soared this year, driven up by rising living standards and also an exceptionally cold winter. The shortages have triggered protest across the country and blackouts that have hit industry and dented confidence in the government which has resorted to buying extra supplies from neighbouring countries. 

As well as commissioning nine new thermal power stations across the country, the most populous in Central Asia, the Uzbek government also said that it would issue permits to private companies to import electricity and to set up an internal market system. 

Analysts said that this was an important step towards the market reform needed to strip away a central Soviet system. They have said that the centralised system is cumbersome and not nimble enough to respond to large increases in demand, both seasonal and systemic.


— This story was first published in issue 469 of the Central Asia & South Caucasus Bulletin

— Copyright the Central Asia & South Caucasus Bulletin 2021

Gas explosion kills four people in Tbilisi

JAN. 16 (The Conway Bulletin) — An explosion in a house in Tbilisi killed four people and injured eight others. The authorities blamed the explosion on a gas leak. Campaigners have complained that the government is more interested in constructing prestige projects for businesses rather than improving living conditions for ordinary people.

>>This story was first published in issue 397 of The Conway Bulletin on Jan. 20 2019

UN investigates fire at chemical factory

SEPT. 11 2017 (The Conway Bulletin) — UN investigators have flown to Armenia to help local teams look into the causes of a fire that engulfed part of the Nairit chemical plant in August, Armenian media reported. The fire was one of the biggest at an Armenian industrial site in recent years and burnt for two days. The UN, under its OCHA unit, is particularly concerned about chemical leaks and spills.

— This story was first published in issue 343 of The Conway Bulletin on Sept. 15

Forest fire rages in Azerbaijan

SEPT. 4 2017 (The Conway Bulletin) — Azerbaijan has sent 520 soldiers to help try and put out forest fires around the city of Gabala, media reported. The emergencies ministry has said that high winds and unseasonably hot temperatures had whipped up the fires. Fire teams across Georgia and Armenia have also been dealing with forest fires this year.


Copyright ©The Conway Bulletin — all rights reserved

(News report from Issue No. 342, published on Sept. 7 2017)

Fire destroys chemical factory in Armenia

AUG. 29 2017 (The Conway Bulletin) — An explosion at a chemical manufacturing plant in Nairit, Armenia, ignited a fire that raged for at least two days. The chemicals plant has been on the verge of bankruptcy for several years, with management sacking two-thirds of the staff en mass in 2015. The plant is currently owned by Samvel Karapetyan, one of Armenia’s richest men, through his company Electric Networks of Armenia. It is unclear if anybody was hurt in the explosion and what caused it.


Copyright ©The Conway Bulletin — all rights reserved

(News report from Issue No. 342, published on Sept. 7 2017)

Weapons depot at military base in Azerbaijan explodes

AUG. 27 (The Conway Bulletin) — At least six people were injured when a weapons depot at a military base around 70km north of Baku exploded, hospital sources in Azerbaijan told media (Aug. 27).

In 2016, a blast at an arms factory near Baku killed at least two people and injured 22 more.

Eyewitness reports described a series of massive explosions at the base. Emergency services closed off nearby roads and evacuated two villages.

Azerbaijan’s defence ministry declined to comment on reports that a number of people had been injured.


Copyright ©The Conway Bulletin — all rights reserved

(News report from Issue No. 341, published on Aug. 27 2017)

Fire damages forest in Armenia

AUG. 15 2017 (The Bulletin) — A fire destroyed up to 2,750 hectares of ancient forest in Armenia, Russian news agencies quoted ecologists as saying. Firefighters and military water-carrying planes took four days to control the fire that spread quickly because of the unusually dry conditions. Much of the Khosrov forest, reportedly planted in the 4th century, is made up of oak trees.


Copyright ©Central Asia & South Caucasus Bulletin — all rights reserved

(News report from Issue No. 340, published on Aug. 20 2017)


Fire burns market in Tajikistan

JULY 3 2017 (The Bulletin) — A fire burnt down most of the biggest bazaar in Dushanbe, destroying hundreds of people’s livelihoods. Police have not yet determined how the fire at the Korvon bazaar started but arson has not been ruled out. The state news agency reported that President Emomali Rakhmon ordered his officials to exempt traders from rent and other taxes.


Copyright ©Central Asia & South Caucasus Bulletin — all rights reserved

(News report from Issue No. 336, published on July 16 2017)


Small fire damages Tajik parliament

MARCH 18 2017 (The Conway Bulletin) — A small fire damaged the Tajik parliament building, media reported quoting interior ministry officials. They said that a computer overheating was to blame for the fire a parliamentary reception area. Photos from parliament showed two windows with black scorch marks. Nobody was injured in the fire.


Copyright ©The Conway Bulletin — all rights reserved

(News report from Issue No. 322, published on March 27 2017)

Blast at Uzbek chemical factory kills five

FEB. 24 2017 (The Conway Bulletin) —  A blast at a chemical plant in Ferghana, east Uzbekistan, on Feb. 23 killed several people, the Uzbek government said.

It declined to give any more details about the blast, other than to report that an investigation had been set up, but the Sputnik news agency quoted a source at the fertiliser factory as saying that at least five people had been killed and that several more had been injured.

“A total of five people have been killed at the site of the explosion, all of them were part of a repair team. Several others are now in a hospital,” the source told Sputnik, a Russian news agency.

Radio Free Europe/Radio Liberty said that the blast occurred at the ammonia production facility of the Farg’onaazot company which produces fertilisers.

Analysts will look at how Presi- dent Shavkat Mirzioyev, in power since September when Islam Karimov died, and his government handle this industrial accident – both releasing information about it and dealing with any potential local anger.


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(News report from Issue No. 318, published on Feb.24 2017)