"A total of 97 patients were admitted to five hospitals," Minister Koca said. The head of the Turkish Red Crescent also called on residents around the area to stay indoors and shut their windows. The Big Coskunlar Fireworks Factory has had several explosions …
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- “A total of 97 patients were admitted to five hospitals,” Minister Koca said.
- The head of the Turkish Red Crescent also called on residents around the area to stay indoors and shut their windows.
- The Big Coskunlar Fireworks Factory has had several explosions over the years.
At least four people have been killed in a fireworks factory explosion in Sakarya province in Turkey. According to authorities who confirmed the incident, 97 people were injured in the explosion. The noise from the blast was heard around 30 miles from the scene, sending dozens of people into panic.
Health Minister Fahrettin Koca visited the scene of the accident in the company of two other ministers, the Interior Minister, Suleyman Soylu, and the Minister of Family, Labor and Social Services, Zehra Zumrut Selcut. “A total of 97 patients were admitted to five hospitals,” Minister Koca said.
Koca added that only one person among the injured was in critical condition. The minister said that 40 of the injured had been treated and discharged. He said that there were 186 workers in the factory at the time of the accident.
The minister revealed that two air ambulances, 18 medical rescue teams, and 85 ambulances had been dispatched to the area for the search and rescue operation. The Interior minister, Soylu, said that three other people were unaccounted for adding that the rescue operations were ongoing.
Koca said that the fireworks contained carbon monoxide, carbon dioxide, and sulphur dioxide, which could pose risks to people with respiratory health conditions and high blood pressure. “The first 12 hours after the blast are critical and we urge residents here to wear protective masks, not to go out if possible and keep their doors and windows shut most of the time,” the minister said.
The head of the Turkish Red Crescent also called on residents around the area to stay indoors and shut their windows, so as to avoid being affected by the chemicals. President Recep Tayyip Erdogan sent his condolences to the bereaved families, and said that he had a conversation with the factory owners regarding the explosion. He added that necessary measures were being put in place to ensure safety of the residents around the scene of the explosion.
“This is a place covering 164 acres and multiple buildings. It is three kilometers away from a residential area and factory workers are all people from this residential area. We have three ministers at the scene, and they are assessing the situation,” the president said.
The main blast was followed by more explosions that sent plumes of smoke to the sky. The firefighters had been hampered by the continued explosions but the situation was contained after several hours of endless struggle.
The Disaster and Emergency Management Authority said that the incident was considered an industrial accident since no radiation source was detected at the factory. However, investigation to establish the cause of the explosion is ongoing.
The Big Coskunlar Fireworks Factory has had several explosions over the years. In 2014, three workers were killed in an explosion in the same facility, it also had explosions in 2010 and 2009.
Twenty people were killed in another fireworks factory in Istanbul west of Sakarya in 2008. Fireworks in the country are used to celebrate on several occasions like graduations and weddings.