According to local ethnic-Armenian authorities, a gasoline storage explosion in Nagorno-Karabakh resulted in the deaths of 20 persons and the injuries of hundreds more.
Hospital admissions totaled close to 300, with dozens of patients being listed in severe condition.
It occurs after local forces surrendered to Azerbaijan, according to the Armenian government, and 19,000 refugees have entered the nation from the enclave.
120,000 ethnic Armenians live in the disputed area.
The explosion that occurred on Monday night close to Khankendi, often known as Stepanakert to Armenians, is still under investigation.
As many attempt to evacuate the area, which was already experiencing a fuel shortage due to a months-long blockade, gas stations have become overrun.
Hundreds of automobiles and buses carrying ethnic Armenians are still held up on the sole road leading from Armenia to the enclave as they attempt to cross the border to the town of Goris.
In addition, there has been a lot of traffic on the twisting mountain road from Goris to Yerevan since well before daybreak.
A BBC team observed families jammed into cars, overflowing boots, and a mountain of possessions on roof racks. People are packing as much of their life as they can into their cars because they are convinced they are abandoning their houses permanently.
There are more automobiles and more families in Goris, a small town that has the same dusty brown color as the craggy mountains that surround it. One has arrived in a car with windows that have been broken, one side that has been severely dented, and it is only held together by adhesive tape.
According to the owner, mortar fire struck the building last week as Azerbaijan launched a lightning attack to seize control of the area. In the midst of young children, he grinned, “But it still got us here.”
People stand around on the main town square unsure of what to do. Basic food items and blankets are distributed by volunteers.
People who have been evacuated are recorded, and there is occasionally a bus to take them to a new town or village. But aside from reaching this far, few people appear to have plans.
Malina abandoned her husband’s burial in their community. The most recent conflict before this month, a six-week war that started in 2020, ended shortly after he passed away.
She claims that he lost his cool. As we talk, she watches her four grandchildren playing nearby. They believe that this trip is short-lived and that they would eventually return to their previous lives, so Malina does not want to shock them with the truth just yet.
They were all huddled in their cellar for two days last week when their village was being attacked. Malina claims that once the Karabakh forces submitted, the local authority ordered everyone to go to Armenia for safety. Their village in Nagorno-Karabakh’s Martakert area is now deserted.
Malina claims that despite any guarantees, her family moved because they did not feel secure under Azerbaijani administration.
Despite official pledges from Azerbaijan, residents of Nagorno-Karabakh are still under threat; only one assistance shipment of 70 tonnes of food has been permitted through since separatists agreed to a truce and disarm.
Another aid convoy with 40 tonnes of bread and urgently required sanitary supplies was on its way to the enclave, according to an announcement from Azerbaijan.
Thousands, according to ethnic Armenian leaders, are without food or shelter and are camped outside or in basements of buildings like schools.
Local authorities said in a statement on Tuesday that hospitals were caring for 290 people with varied degrees of burn injuries while working under “difficult and confined conditions” to save the lives of those hurt in the fuel storage explosion.
According to them, seven more people passed away in hospitals, and 13 unidentifiable bodies were discovered at the blast site.
Gegham Stepanyan, the Human Rights Ombudsman, stated on social media that the majority of people had serious or really severe health conditions. There are insufficient medical resources in Nagorno-Karabakh.
According to the Armenian health ministry, patients from the overcrowded hospitals in the area are being evacuated by helicopter. In addition, Azerbaijan claimed to have delivered medical supplies.
According to Nikol Pashinyan, the prime minister of Armenia, ethnic cleansing is “under way” in the area.
Nikol Pashinyan told reporters, “That’s happening right now, and that is [a] very unfortunate fact, because we were trying to urge the international community on that.”
However, Azerbaijan has said that it intends to reintegrate the ethnic Armenians as “equal citizens”.
In order to defend the rights of the population in Nagorno-Karabakh, Samantha Power, the director of the US Agency for International Development, urged Azerbaijan to “maintain the ceasefire and take concrete action.”
She called for allowing the international community access to the area and disclosed $11.5 million (£9.5 million) in US funds to help people who are escaping.
Azerbaijani and Armenian envoys gathered in Brussels for negotiations supported by the European Union.
Since Azerbaijan took the enclave last week, it had been a while since the two nations had held formal talks.
Separate discussions over the future of Karabakh have also begun between Azerbaijan and the ethnic-Armenian leadership there.
Although Nagorno-Karabakh, a mountainous region in the South Caucasus, is officially recognized as belonging to Azerbaijan, it has been ruled by ethnic Armenians for the past 30 years.
Armenia has supported the enclave, as has its partner Russia, which has been stationed there on a peacekeeping mission for the past three years.
As Azerbaijan’s army rushed in last week, five Russian peacekeepers perished along with at least 200 ethnic Armenians and scores of Azerbaijani soldiers.
The defense ministry of Azerbaijan announced on Sunday that it has seized further military hardware, including a sizable quantity of rockets, artillery shells, explosives, and ammunition.