Two Dead And 73 Injured In Blast At Fireworks Factory In Turkey
The 'ongoing explosions' have been happening at a fireworks factory in Hendek, a district in Turkey's Sakarya province.
The factory, which is not situated near any residential areas, employs around 150-200 people.
Sakarya governor Cetin Oktay Kaldirim told Anadolu that the injured have been taken to local hospitals.
A total of 85 ambulances, two air ambulances and 11 medical rescue teams were called to the scene, along with Interior Minister Suleyman Soylu, Health Minister Fahrettin Koca and Family, Labour and Social Services Minister Zehra Zumrut Selcuk also came to the scene.
Kaldirim said: "All security measures were taken around the factory. Since it is a fireworks factory, and the explosions continue, we cannot intervene at the moment."
Initially, it was believed that there were no fatalities from the incident. However, officials later said two had sadly died in the blast.
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Video footage from the site shows a huge plume of smoke rising from the factory, along with flashes of what appear to be fireworks.
Kaldirim added: "There are around 150-200 people (at the site) according to information from the factory owner but we can't intervene because explosions are continuing."
A later update from Kaldirim said: "The fire is partly under control. We have learnt that there are 25 people in the main building. Combined with other buildings, there are 172 people in total. There are 110 tons of products in the factory."
According to the BBC, the explosions in Hendek could be heard dozens of kilometres away.
Sakarya Hendek'te, şehrin uzağındaki havai fişek fabrikasında bir patlama oldu. Sn. Cumhurbaşkanımızın talimatıyla süreci yakından takip etmek için birazdan olay yerinde olacağız. 85 ambulans, 2 helikopter ambulans, 11 UMKE ekibimiz olay yerinde. 2 can kaybımız, 73 yaralımız var.
- Dr. Fahrettin Koca (@drfahrettinkoca) July 3, 2020
Health Minister Fahrettin Koca said on Twitter: "There was an explosion in the fireworks factory in Sakarya Hendek, far from the city [...]
"We will be at the scene soon to follow the process closely with the instructions of our President. 85 ambulances, 2 helicopter ambulances, 11 UMKE team are at the scene. We have 2 casualties, 73 injured."
Sharing a message about the blast on its Twitter account, the AFAD (Turkey's Disaster and Emergency Management Presidency) said the explosion took place 'as a result of an industrial accident', adding there is reportedly 'no source of radiation in the factory'.
Featured Image Credit: Andolu Agency