Powerful blast rocks gas station in EU country (VIDEO)

Local authorities have announced a mass evacuation near the explosion site outside of Bucharest, Romania

A series of powerful explosions at a Romanian gas station on Saturday has killed one person and injured dozens of others, local authorities have said as they announced mass evacuations of nearby areas.

In a statement on Facebook on Sunday, the country’s General Inspectorate for Emergency Situations wrote that the incident occurred at a liquefied petroleum gas station in the town of Crevedia, not far from the Romanian capital of Bucharest.

The first explosion killed one person – who succumbed to a heart attack – while injuring seven others, the agency said, adding that the second blast injured another 50 people. A total of 54 people have been taken to the hospital, ten of whom have been intubated, according to the statement.

The Inspectorate also noted that the bulk of the victims – 43 people – were firefighters and law enforcement officers.

“For the protection of citizens, a safety perimeter was established at a distance of approximately 800 meters from the site of the intervention and approximately 3,000 inhabitants were evacuated as a precaution,” the agency added.

Videos circulating on social media appear to show a powerful blast with a large fireball and plumes of smoke rising to the sky, with people scurrying away. One video filmed close to the incident site featured an explosion so bright that it temporarily blinded the camera.

Meanwhile, Romanian President Klaus Iohannis said he was “profoundly saddened” by the “tragedy” and urged the authorities to launch an investigation to determine if any rules had been broken.

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