Aug. 12 (UPI) — At least 39 people were killed in an explosion in a weapons depot at the base of a residential building in Syria on Sunday.
The victims, including 12 children and nine women, were killed in the blast at the bottom of a building in the town of Sarmada, and the death toll was expected to rise as multiple people were left in critical condition and others remained missing, the Syrian Observatory for Human Rights said.
The Observatory said the explosion took place in an ammunition depot belonging to an arms dealer associated with the al-Qaeda-linked Syrian group Hayyaat Tahrir al-Sham at the bottom of a residential building.
Most of the residents of the building were Syrians who were displaced from the Homs province.
The cause of the explosion wasn’t immediately clear.
The Syrian Civil Defense Force –also know as the White Helmets — said dozens were also injured in the blast and volunteers were able to pull at least 10 people alive from the rubble as part of ongoing search and rescue operations in the area.
“White Helmets are working tirelessly, searching and rescuing, in unbelievable areas of destruction and death,” the group said.