At least 35 die in petrol station fire in Dagestan

At least 35 people have been killed in an explosion and fire at a petrol station in Dagestan in southern Russia.

The blast erupted in the regional capital, Makhachkala, on the coast of the Caspian Sea, at 21:40 local time (18:40 GMT) on Monday.

According to local media, the fire began at a car service near the petrol station and injured dozens more people.

A state of emergency was introduced in the Kumtorkalinsky district in Dagestan, according to regional head Sergei Melikov.

Some 260 emergency workers have been deployed, while the most seriously injured have been evacuated to Moscow by air, the emergencies ministry said.

According to Russian media reports, the fire spread over an area of 600 sq m (6,460 sq ft) and there was a danger of further explosions.

A criminal case has been opened to establish the circumstances leading up to the incident, the Investigative Committee says.

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