Exploding balloons injure scores at Armenian rally | News | DW | 04.05.2012
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Exploding balloons injure scores at Armenian rally

There was a scary moment for people attending a concert at a political rally in Armenia when several bunches of balloons exploded, sending several dozen people to the hospital.

Over 140 people were injured on Friday when a large number of party balloons simultaneously exploded at a political campaign concert in the Armenian capital, Yerevan.

A view shows the crowd right after the explosion of gas-filled balloons during a campaign rally

Not all the balloons ignited in the blast

The concert was put on by President Serzh Sarkisian's governing Republican party and comes ahead of parliamentary elections on Sunday.

According to the emergencies ministry, 144 people suffered burns when small bunches of the balloons were ignited, sending a fireball into the air and concert-goers running in panic. Just over 100 went to the hospital, but no one suffered serious injuries.

The balloons, which were filled with gas, may have been ignited by a cigarette.

Sunday's poll is widely seen as a test of Armenia's democracy.

mz/msh (Reuters, AFP, AP)