A fireworks factory has erupted into plumes of smoke and fire as explosions continue killing two, injuring 70 and trapping 189 people, according to reports
Television footage shows a mushroom-shaped cloud of smoke rising from the factory where 189 employees were working today and are now believed to be trapped.
Two people died in the feared gas explosion outside the town of Henkek, Sakarya province on the Black Sea coast, the Turkish Minister of Health Dr Fahrettin Koca confirmed.
Two helicopters and a fire extinguisher plane is currently working to bring the situation under control on the 395-acre area.
There are homes less than two miles away from the blaze, according to Turkey’s president Recep Tayyip Erdoğan.
He said: ‘The personnel who work in the factory live in this neighbourhood and we hope that the injured will go back to their families with great health.
‘With regards to the injured people who are inside this area hopefully will not give us bad news.’
Video shared to social media showed plumes of black smoke rising above the factory, as fireworks continued to erupt amid the flames.
Dr Koca wrote on Twitter: ‘There was an explosion in the fireworks factory in Sakarya Hendek, far from the city. Sec.
“We will be at the scene soon to follow the process closely with the instructions of our President. 85 ambulances, 2 helicopter ambulances, 11 UMKE team are at the scene. We have 2 casualties, 73 injured.”
Sakarya Governor Cetin Oktay Kaldırım said explosions have continued, meaning firefighters cannot get to the scene to bring the fire under control.
He added: ‘Since it is a fireworks factory, and the explosions continue, we cannot intervene at the moment.’
It was not immediately clear what triggered the blast, but the head of the Turkish Red Crescent has urged residents living nearby to remain indoors and shut their windows over concerns of a possible chemical gas release.
The blasts can be heard for miles around the factory and worried families have started to gather nearby despite warnings to stay away.
The factory holds 110 tonnes of fireworks stock.
Three Cabinet members – Interior Minister Suleyman Soylu, Health Minister Fahrettin Koca, and Family, Labor, and Social Services Minister Zehra Zumrut Selcuk – are at the scene.
Turkey’s President Erdoğan has offered his condolences to the families of the victims.