(SKY NEWS) – An explosion at a weapons depot in Syria has killed at least 39 civilians including a dozen children, a monitoring group has said.
Three militants were also killed, according to the British-based Syrian Observatory for Human Rights (SOHR).
Rescue workers used bulldozers to remove rubble and get people out of two damaged buildings.
Five people were pulled out alive.
One of the buildings was scorched black after a fire followed the explosion.
White Helmet rescue workers attempted to lift part of the floor of one of the buildings with a crane.
SOHR said the weapons depot was housed in a residential building in the northwestern town of Sarmada, in Idlib province.
Its head, Rami Abdel Rahman, said the cause of the blast was “not yet clear”, and that most of those killed were family of fighters from HTS, a jihadists’ alliance.
A series of explosions has rocked Idlib province in recent months.
While some have been claimed by Islamic State, most have been the result of infighting between other groups.