Many Injuries After Munitions Depot Explosion in Catalkoy in North Cyprus

Many Injuries After Munitions Depot Explosion in Catalkoy in North CyprusAccording to Bayrak television (12.09.19, https://www.brtk.net/patlamalarda-can-kaybi-yasanmadi/), a series of severe explosions occurred in the village of Çatalköy on Thursday early morning at a munitions depot. A fire broke after the initial explosion.

According to BRT:

“roads were closed and the power was cut as a precautionary measure. The police and the army created a safe zone and dwelling units near the explosion area were evacuated for safety. The explosions were felt in the surrounding villages and Nicosia. Due to the explosions, windows of the hotel Acapulco were broken and some guests of the hotel were injured slightly. The customers of the hotel spent the night on the beach as part of precautionary measures. Meanwhile, state and government officials inspected the area immediately after the incident”.

In statements to the press after arriving at the scene along with North Cyprus Prime Minister, Ersin Tatar, and Deputy Prime Minister and Foreign Affair Minister, Kudret Ozersay, (12.09.19, https://www.brtk.net/akinci-olayda-yaralilar-var/), President Mustafa Akinci said: “It is pleasing that there was no loss of life in the explosions that took place in the military zone in eastern Kyrenia”. He called the public not to panic, adding that they do not have enough information of what caused the explosions.

In a post at the social media, Kudret Ozersay, said that:

“he is coordinating with officials from military and police department who are dealing with the situation. (…) As soon as reliable information is reached, it will be shared with the public. (…) There are no fatalities but some people were injured by glass shards that scattered because of the explosions. At the moment, the fire is still burning in the arsenal, entries are closed to the area due to the shrapnel. Electricity in the region was cut off as a measure.”

He also said that the region has been largely evacuated as a precaution, but fire is not spreading.

Meanwhile, Turkey’s Defence Ministry (https://www.msb.gov.tr/SlaytHaber/1292019-35301) said on Thursday that “an explosion was occurred at a munitions depot in a Division Ammunition Command in Kyrenia at 01.30 by reason which has not yet been identified”.

The statement further read:

“The fire, which broke out after the explosion was brought under control and the safety of the area was established. All necessary precautions have been taken regarding the incident, in which there was no casualties. An investigation committee has been formed and to determine the cause of the explosion”.

Moreover, Turkish Cypriot daily newspaper Yeni Duzen (12.09.19, http://www.yeniduzen.com/teknik-inceleme-icin-ankaradan-heyet-geliyor-118778h.htm) reports that Ersin Tatar, North Cyprus Prime Minister, in a press conference this morning regarding the incidents in Çatalköy, said that a delegation from Ankara is on their way to conduct a detailed investigation. Tatar further said:

“Last night around 01:30, explosions were occurred at a munitions depot for unknown reasons. All necessary work has started and measures have been taken. Around 05:00 fires were brought under control and explosions were ceased. It is relief that there was no loss of life. Nine persons, who were taken to emergency, were discharged and three persons with slightly injuries are kept under observation. The incident is very serious and we need to approach the issue accordingly. A crisis desk has been established in Catalkoy municipality and it is doing the necessary work. A delegation from Turkey to make the necessary technical studies has departed from Ankara and is coming to the island. Details will emerge once the investigation is carried out. The radius of the blast covers an area of 200. There were soldiers in the area, but three were no casualties or injuries to the military personnel”.

Moreover, BRT (12.09.19, https://www.brtk.net/basbakan-tatarpatlamadan-etkilenen-bolge-200-donum-ve-henuz-patlamamis-muhimmat-var/) broadcast that Tatar, replying to a question whether the explosion was a possibility of a sabotage, said that the crisis desk continues its works and added that the inspection delegation coming from Turkey will be able to answer this question after their inspections.

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