Abu Dhabi, UAESaturday 21 September 2019

Northern Cyprus army depot blast injures 12 people

Gunpowder in the air and hotel doors shattered as plume seen as far as Turkish coast

An explosion at a Turkish army depot in Northern Cyprus injured 12 people after a fire broke out in a military zone in the early hours of Thursday morning.

Explosions at the military zone continued for four hours and spread to an adjacent forest, though the fire has since come under control.

Shattered glass at nearby hotels caused injuries but no fatalities were recorded. Shrapnel and debris from the army depot is also reported to have spread from the depot.

The cause of the blast is unknown as yet as authorities say an investigation is underway.

Video footage posted on social media showed smoke rising into the sky east of Kyrenia, a coastal town popular with tourists.

Following the first blast, smoke could be seen as far as the Turkish coastal hotspots of Antalya and Alanya.

Local media report that tourists at the Acapulco Hotel gathered onto the beach upon hearing the blasts. Medics were called onto the scene to treat some guests who felt unwell from the smell of burning gunpowder.

Turkish Cypriot Foreign Minister Kudret Ozersay said the area is now secured, with police warning people to keep away.

The foreign minister said on Facebook that electricity had been cut in the vicinity of the blast while nearby homes were evacuated.

Turkish Cypriot President Mustafa Akinci told reporters that tourists who had flights on Thursday morning would be safely escorted, after arriving at the scene with Prime Minister Ersin Tatar.

Updated: September 12, 2019 03:31 PM

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