Six dead, one missing after fireworks factory blasts in Sakarya

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The death toll from July 3 explosions at a fireworks factory in northwestern Turkey rose to six, while one person remains missing, said a local official.

Sakarya Governor Çetin Oktay Kaldırım told reporters on July 5 that the number of injured being treated in hospitals has dropped to five, including one seriously wounded.

Kaldırım said that rescue efforts continue for the missing person.

Two people killed in the blasts were laid to rest on July 4, while two other victims were identified, Kaldırım said earlier.

The incident is being seriously investigated by relevant authorities, he said.

He said over 1,000 personnel from the Disaster and Emergency Management Authority (AFAD), National Medical Rescue Team (UMKE), and other units have worked at the scene with 190 vehicles and five specially trained dogs.

Kaldırım also said he visited residential areas near the factory damaged by the blast, and damage assessment is ongoing.

A total of 121 patients, out of 126 injured, have been discharged from the hospital after receiving treatment for injuries at the factory, Health Minister Fahrettin Koca said.

 

 

On July 4, the factory manager in charge and two foremen were detained after prosecutors issued arrest warrants for them.

Previously, Koca said a total of 84 ambulances, two air ambulances, 18 medical rescue teams, and emergency aid personnel along with disaster and emergency teams were dispatched to the scene where the minister said he would remain until he received updates about the wounded.

He said people living in the area might be affected by fireworks gases, especially in the first 12 hours after the blast and asked residents to wear masks and not leave their homes.

The factory has 186 employees, 20 of whom were not working on July 3, and another 15 to 20 left work earlier in the morning.

Interior Minister Süleyman Soylu said three factory workers were still missing, adding that the resultant fire had been brought under control.

The ministers had been dispatched to the province by President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan.

Images on television earlier in the day showed a dark grey plume of smoke with sparks visible, a result of fireworks going off inside the building.

Hendek Mayor Turgut Babaoğlu said many workers escaped the building during the incident.

Dozens of firefighters and rescue workers were mobilized after the explosion around 0815 GMT.

According to reports, there had previously been explosions at the factory in 2009, 2011 and 2014. One person died in the incident in 2014.

Hurriyet Daily News

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