Heat wave blamed for series of explosions at military facility in Jordan
15 September 2020
A series of explosions at a military facility near Jordan’s capital city Amman has been blamed on a heat wave currently occurring in the middle eastern country. The blasts happened on September 11 in the city of Zarqa, north east of Amman, at an old ammunition depot that stored unusable mortar shells.
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Shortly after the explosion in the early hours of the morning, Jordan's government blamed an electrical short circuit. However, following an investigation by the army, it is now thought that intense heat had warped old shells and caused a fire and series of explosions. Witnesses said the blasts lit up the early morning sky with flames and smoke being seen from Amman, 22 miles (35km) to the south west of the facility. No injuries were reported in the incident.
According to Reuters, an army spokesperson said that thermal expansion of mortar shells had caused the explosions. The news agency added that an army source said some of the weapons also stored at the site included precision-guided anti-aircraft missiles.
The recent heat wave that has encompassed Jordan and its neighbouring countries including Syria, Israel, and Iraq, saw temperatures reach as high as 45 degrees Celsius (113°F) in September.
Jordan’s army said that a quick response to the incident helped prevent injuries and deaths. The city of Zarqa sits on the outskirts of Amman which has a population of 1.5 million people.