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Turkish ammunition dump explosion kills 25 soldiers

06 September 2012

An explosion at an ammunition store in western Turkey during a routine inventory check has killed 25 soldiers and wounded four, government officials said on September 6. The blast, which happened late the previous day in the western city of Afyon, occurred as soldiers were moving stocks of hand grenades, Forestry Minister Veysel Eroglu told reporters from the scene.

Officials sent the bodies of the 25 dead soldiers to Ankara for DNA testing to determine their identities, Hurriyet Daily News reported
Officials sent the bodies of the 25 dead soldiers to Ankara for DNA testing to determine their identities, Hurriyet Daily News reported

"It was probably caused after a hand grenade was dropped," Mr Eroglu told reporters.

Afyon Governor Irfan Balkanlioglu confirmed the blast was accidental and ruled out sabotage.

It is thought many of the soldiers were trapped inside the building as firefighters tackled the huge blaze. Rescuers found it difficult to reach the soldiers because hand grenades lay strewn around the area, reports said.

Because of the explosion, some of the grenades had been scattered around the area, and experts have been carrying out controlled explosions in the area, according to the Governor.

Identification of those killed at the scene was impossible because of the force of the explosion, Hurriyet newspaper said.

On hearing the blast, witnesses described residents in the provincial capital, Afyonkarahisar, taking to the streets believing an earthquake had struck.


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