Ankara, June 10 (EFE).- Five workers from a Turkish state-owned company that manufactures explosives and rockets lost their lives on Saturday in a massive explosion sparked by a chemical reaction, said authorities.
“An explosion occurred at the MKE Rocket and Explosives Factory in the Elmadag district of Ankara. As a result of the explosion, five of our workers have been martyred,” a defense ministry statement said.
“A judicial and administrative investigation has been initiated.”
According to Cumhuriyet newspaper, Ankara Governor Vasip Sahin said rescue teams had already reached the site.
He said the blast occurred at the explosives factory located approximately 40 km (25 miles) outside Ankara.
Sahin told reporters that no more workers were trapped, waiting to be rescued, or hospitalized.
The governor said the explosion occurred at 8:45 am in a section where dynamite cartridges were being prepared.
“As far as we know, it was due to a chemical reaction. Five workers have lost their lives,” said Sahin.
“I pray for god’s mercy on our five workers who died in the explosion. I express my condolences to their relatives, friends, and colleagues.”
Several fire trucks and ambulances were dispatched to the factory, which produces explosives and rockets for the defense and interior ministries.
The Ankara Prosecutor’s Office said it was investigating the incident.
The factory is under the supervision of the state-owned company MKE (Turkish acronym for Machinery and Chemicals Corporation).
MKE was founded in 1950. It was initially tied to the Turkish Ministry of Trade and Industry. However, in 2000, it became a
Turkish National Defense Ministry subsidiary. EFE