ANKARA, (AFP) — A powerful explosion, believed to be accidental, ripped through an industrial facility in the Turkish capital Thursday, killing six people and injuring dozens, an official said.
“We have counted six dead,” Interior Minister Besir Atalay told Anatolia news agency. Previously four people were reported dead and 27 injured.
Rescuers were combing through the debris amid reports there were several people still trapped under the rubble.
The explosion went off inside a multi-storey building in Ankara’s industrial suburb of Ostim, occupied by a company manufacturing hydraulic machines that employed around 100 workers.
The building was severely damaged, with walls and windows on the first two floors blown out.
There were conflicting reports on the cause of the explosion.
Fethi Yasar, the mayor of Ostim district, said “with a 90-percent certainty” that it was a gas leak that caused a furnace to explode.
But Ankara Mayor Melih Gokcek played down the possibility of a gas leak, suggesting that a worker’s mistake in handling oxygen tubes the company used appeared to have sparked the explosion.
Ostim is Ankara’s main industrial zone, where hundreds of workshops and factories are located.