USA

Dramatic explosion at Turkish fireworks factory kills two

A deadly explosion at a fireworks factory in northwest Turkey on Friday has killed two people and wounded at least 74 others, Turkey's President Recep Tayyip Erdogan told the media, speaking after Friday prayers in Istanbul.

It was not immediately clear what triggered the blast.

Video posted on social media showed flashes, bangs and a huge plume of smoke at the Big Coskunlar Fireworks factory, located in the Sakarya province. This is believed to be the third explosion at factory since 2009. Fireworks in Turkey are used to celebrate occasions like graduations, weddings and holidays.

Turkey's health minister Fahrettin Koca, interior minister and labor minister were headed to the area to monitor the situation, state-owned Anadolu news agency reported.

The governor of Sakarya, Cetin Oktay Kaldirim,told state media that dozens of injured workers had already been taken to a local hospital for treatment.

Erdogan said 189 people were working inside the complex in the Hendek district of Sakarya. The blasts from the explosion were heard up to 31 miles away, Anadolu reported.

Governor Kaldirim added there were at least 110 tons of explosive materials in the factory.

"We can't intervene because explosions are continuing," said Kaldirim.

Dramatic video footage online shows ambulances and fire-fighting vehicles at the scene. Health Minister Fahrettin Koca said in a statement there were at least 85 ambulances and two ambulance-helicopters present.

Reuters contributed to this report.

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