The manager of the Surmalu shopping center is in a heavy psychological state and does not comment

Irina Madatova, director of Yerevan Canning Factory, a company operating on the territory of the Surmalu shopping center, declines to comment.

The NEWS.am correspondent attempted to contact Madatova, but relatives reported that she was in serious psychological condition and did not wish to comment.

The Surmalu shopping center operates on the territory of the former Yerevan canning factory. The territory is managed by Yerevan Canning Factory CJSC. The owner of the territory is Razmik Zakharyan, a member of the Group of Deputies of the Republic, who was the director of the Yerevan cannery.

Last year, the Urban Development, Technical and Fire Safety Inspectorate conducted an inspection at the Yerevan Canning Factory and revealed more than a dozen violations related to fire safety rules. An order has been sent to the company to eliminate the violations. The inspection body also informed that the owner of the site at the time had verbally requested to postpone the deadline for eliminating the violations, taking into account that there are many commercial pavilions and that they are mostly rented. However, no new inspections were carried out during the year. The reason, according to EA representatives, was that they had a busy schedule and the company’s re-inspection round was scheduled for the fall.

About a year before the August 14 explosion, in April 2021, pavilions at Surmalu Mall caught fire. Zhoghovurd newspaper reported today that the investigative committee only received an expert report on the fire a month ago. The professional opinion confirmed that the management of the shopping center did not respect safety rules. According to the newspaper, the manager of the mall and the security guard will soon become scapegoats in place of Zakharyan, the owner of the mall.

Reminder: an explosion occurred on the territory of the Surmalu shopping center on August 14, causing more than 60 injuries and 16 deaths. 3 people were missing at 5:00 p.m. The initial version of the explosion was that the main cause of death was lack of people. According to the initial version, the cause of the explosion was a fire that broke out in a pyrotechnic warehouse located on the territory of the shopping center.

Edwin S. Wolfe