At least two dead and dozens injured in explosion at Turkish fireworks factory

As many as 200 workers may have been at the factory in Sakarya province when the blast occurred

At least two people were killed and dozens injured in an explosion at a fireworks factory in north-western Turkey on Friday, officials and news reports said.

Besides the two deaths, at least 73 people were injured in the explosion, Turkish Health Minister Fahrettin Koca said on Twitter.

He said 85 ambulances, two helicopter ambulances and 11 teams from the National Medical Rescue service were sent to the factory outside the town of Hendek in Sakarya province.

There were between 150 and 200 workers in the factory at the time of the blast, Sakarya provincial governor Cetin Oktay Kaldirim told state-run Anadolu Agency.

The factory had 110 tonnes of fireworks in its warehouse, the Hurriyet daily quoted him as saying.

Video of the incident posted online showed flames and heavy smoke rising into the air as fireworks exploded above the factory site with a deafening sound.

The blast was heard as far away as the neighbouring provinces of Kacaeli and Duzce, Hurriyet said.

Several firefighters and ambulances were sent to the factory, which is away from residential areas. However, explosions were continuing, hampering efforts to bring the fire under control.

HaberTurk television said authorities blocked roads leading to the factory. Families rushed to the site for news of their loved ones.

Hurriyet said President Recep Tayyip Erdogan had asked Mr Koca, Interior Minister Suleyman Soylu and Family Labour and Social Services Minister Zumrut Selcuk to visit the scene.

Turkish Interior Minister Suleyman Soylu looks out at the blast site in Sakarya province from his helicopter. Turkish Interior Ministry via Reuters
Turkish Interior Minister Suleyman Soylu looks out at the blast site in Sakarya province from his helicopter. Turkish Interior Ministry via Reuters

Updated: July 3, 2020 07:05 PM

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