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Rocket factory explosion in Turkey kills five workers

MKEK-produced Turkish munitions
MKEK-produced Turkish munitions Copyright KIZILSUNGUR at Turkish Wikipedia
Copyright KIZILSUNGUR at Turkish Wikipedia
By Euronews with AP
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Authorities say incident thought to have been caused by a chemical reaction, not sabotage or terrorism

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An explosion at a rocket and explosives plant in Turkey caused a building to collapse on Saturday, killing all five workers inside, an official said.

The explosion occurred at around 8:45 am. at the compound of the state-owned Mechanical and Chemical Industry Corporation, on the outskirts of the capital, Ankara, Governor Vasip Sahin told reporters.

The factory is publicly owned and belongs to the Ministry of Defence.

Grey smoke was seen rising from the compound as ambulances and fire trucks rushed to the area, with video clips captured from a distance circulating widely on social media.

Shops and houses nearby had their window shattered by the force of the blast, according to news outlet NTV.

The victims' bodies have been removed from the rubble, according to Sahin.

The governor said the explosion was likely to have been caused by a chemical reaction during the production of dynamite, and that prosecutors have launched a formal investigation.

According to Deputy National Defence Minister Alpaslan Kavaklıoğlu, while the site is a large one, the explosion was isolated.

"This is a facility for the production of explosives, and with such explosions in mind, it is spread out so that they do not affect each other. The place where the explosion occurred is a very small building.

"When we look at the camera recordings, there is nothing extraordinary until the moment of the explosion. Our workers were carrying out their normal activities and the explosion occurred suddenly...

"This is a factory that works continuously, not a place that works suddenly. New workers may have been hired, but this is a factory that has been working for a long time, it is not a place where inexperienced people would work. This is a part of production."

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