Blasts at Turkish fireworks factory kill two, wound 73

An aerial view of the firework factory following a blast is seen from a helicopter of Turkish Interior Minister Suleyman Soylu, in Hendek in Sakarya province, Turkey, July 3, 2020. Turkish Interior Ministry/Handout via REUTERS

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SULAIMANI — A series of large explosions shook a fireworks factory in northwest Turkey’s Sakarya province on Friday (July 3), killing two people and wounding 73, Health Minister Fahrettin Koca said.

Fire crews fought to contain the blaze ignited by an initial blast at 11.15 am (0815 GMT) in the province’s Hendek district, Turkey’s disaster and emergency management directorate AFAD said in a statement, describing it as an industrial accident, according to Reuters.

Some 85 ambulances and two helicopters were among emergency vehicles sent to the complex, Koca wrote on Twitter, adding President Tayyip Erdogan had instructed him to go to the scene.

Video footage obtained by Reuters showed smoke billowing from the complex as firework explosions rang out and a huge plume of smoke rose into the sky. The initial blast was heard up to 50 km (31 miles) away, state-owned Anadolu news agency said.

Turkey’s interior and labour ministers also went to Sakarya to monitor the situation, Anadolu said.

(NRT Digital Media/Reuters)