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The explosion occurred when a leaking natural gas liquids (mainly propane and butane) pipeline created a highly flammable cloud that was ignited by sparks created by two passenger trains passing each other nearby. Both trains were carrying many children: one was returning from a holiday vacation on the Black Sea and the other was taking children there. Estimates of the size of the explosion have ranged from 250-300 tons of TNT equivalent up to 10,000 tons of TNT equivalent. According to official figures, 575 people died and more than 800 were injured. The exact location was near the town of Asha.