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Gas station explosion kills one, wounds 12 in Turkey

27 June 2011

A powerful explosion blamed on a gas leak ripped through a gas station in southeast Turkey on Monday, killing one person and injuring 12, a senior official said. Television footage showed serious damage caused by the blast at the scene in Karakopru, Sanliurfa province, where aid workers were on the scene.

"According to the initial impression of the fire-fighting brigade and technical personnel, (the explosion) was not an act of terrorism but originated from a LPG leak...there is a large LPG tank at the spot," Sanliurfa Governor Nuri Okutan said on the NTV news channel.

"Twelve citizens were injured, including two in serious condition with burns. We have one dead," he said.

The governor said both the owners of the gas station and residents had recently reported an apparent gas leak, but experts who visited the gas station failed to detect a problem.

Dozens of buildings and 19 vehicles in the area were damaged, he said.

Accidental gas explosions are frequent in Turkey, where respect for safety regulations is often minimal.

In February, 17 people were killed in two separate blasts that ripped through workshops in Ankara's main industrial district.

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