Gas leak suspected in deadly blast at nightclub in Azerbaijan capital

Emergency services said one person was killed and 31 others were injured in the explosion

Firefighters and security forces examine the scene of an explosion at a nightclub in the Azerbaijani capital of Baku on April 3, 2022. Officials said at least one person was killed and 31 injured in the blast. Anadolu Agency via Getty Images

An explosion struck a nightclub in the capital of Azerbaijan and set off a fire early on Sunday, killing one person and injuring 31, officials said.

The explosion at the LocationBaku club was believed to have been caused by a gas leak but an investigation is continuing, Interior Ministry spokesman Ehsan Zahidov said.

The prosecutor general's office reported one death and said 31 people suffered various injuries. Health Ministry spokesman Parviz Abubekirov said 24 people had been admitted to hospital, most of them with burns.

The emergency services said firefighters were called to the club in central Baku at 3am and extinguished the fire before it could spread.

Video posted on social media showed dozens of people in a panic, some of them injured, outside the club, which appeared to have been heavily damaged by the explosion.

The blast comes after fighting between Azerbaijani and Armenian forces reignited in the Nagorno-Karabakh last month, raising concerns about the stability of a ceasefire that ended the 2020 war over the separatist region.

Azerbaijani President Ilham Aliyev and Armenian Prime Minister Nikol Pashinyan are expected meet in Brussels on April 6 with European Council President Charles Michel to lay the groundwork for peace talks to end the decades-long conflict over the separatist region.

With reporting from agencies.

Updated: April 03, 2022, 5:42 AM