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Factory explosion kills several people in Ankara

Text by News Wires

Latest update : 2011-02-03

A powerful blast, believed to be accidental, ripped through a factory in an industrial suburb of Turkey’s capital Thursday, killing at least four people and leaving dozens of others injured, officials said.

AP - A powerful explosion in the Turkish capital collapsed two stories of a factory Thursday, leaving at least four people dead, and injuring some 30 others.

Interior Minister Besir Atalay said a few people were believed to be trapped under the debris of the construction machinery factory, while search and rescue teams combed the rubble of the building in the industrial area of the city.

“Our hope is that there are no other deaths inside the ruins,” Atalay told reporters at the scene.

The explosion ripped off the building’s glass-covered facade and shattered the windows of nearby buildings. Twisted metal and concrete slabs were strewn around the nearby area.

NTV news channel showed medics helping an injured man into an ambulance, while passers-by helped another lying on the pavement outside the four-storey building.

A witness told NTV he saw dozens of people covered in blood lying on the ground before ambulances arrived at the scene.

Fethi Yasar, mayor for the area, said around half of the factory’s 80 workers had escaped unharmed.

Ankara’s Mayor Melih Gokcek told CNN-Turk television that the blast was most likely started by oxygen tanks at the factory. He did not give details.

Atalay said the cause of the explosion is under investigation.

The blast could be heard several kilometers away.

Date created : 2011-02-03