Explosion in a military area in the occupied territories, 12 injured – update

Explosion in a military area in the occupied territories, 12 injured – update

Until now there have only been reports of damages not victims

A strong explosion in a military area in the occupied areas occurred around 2 this morning. As reported by the occupied territories, the explosion occurred near the Hotel Acapulco. According to the reports, the hotel has been evacuated.

Akinci, the “prime minister” Tatar, and Kundret Ozersay have visited the site. So far there is no information on casualties or what has caused the explosions, which according to primary reports were repeated.

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Update 1

Special team kicks off investigation- what the politicians say

The explosions at the command of the ammunition compound in Agios Epiktitos, Kerynia near Klepin resulted to just two people sustaining some slight injuries, “health minister” Ali Pilli announced. As reported by the occupied territories, Mr. Pilli spoke to Bayrak, reporting that the two wounded had received first aid while in the ambulance that was called on the scene, and thus did not need hospitalization. There was no serious injury, he noted.

Meanwhile, RTK President Tufan Erhurman headed to the explosion sight at some point at night, expressing – according to media reports – his sorrow for the tragedy, while announcing that he would return with a delegation of his party during the day.

The inquiry commission that will look into the cause of the explosion at the command post of the occupying army in Agios Epiktitos, Kerynia has already commenced its operations, according to a statement from the administration of the “peacekeeping” NGOs and the “security forces” administration, following the announcement by the Turkish Defense Minister.

The “peacekeeping” forces, the “security forces”, alongside the “fire-fighting” and “civil defense” forces were immediately found on the spot, taking necessary measures since 2am, while the “coast guard” was also on alert from the sea. According to the announcement, the explosions stopped at approximately 5 in the morning. Security in the area has been restored, there are no casualties, it is noted. The lack of victims is underlined via a written statement issued this morning by the Turkish-Cypriot leader Mustafa Akinci, who rushed on the scene early in the morning alongside “Prime Minister” Tatar and “Foreing Minister” Oserzay.

Mr Akinci, referring to the explosions at the ammunition depot, comments that “it is a good thing no casualties were reported; nothing but some injuries”. Mr Akinci also visited the Acapulco Hotel and spoke with its residents, whom he – reportedly – tried to calm down. In a written statement, “Prime Minister” Ersin Tatar speaks of explosions in a military area in Klepin (next to the Agios Epiktitos) and of the establishment of a crisis management center by the military, the “civil defense” and the “forest department”. The necessary investigations regarding the cause of the explosion will be carried out, Mr. Tatar said, adding that we should hold on to the fact that there were no victims or any serious injuries.

The chronicles

According to web sites, the fire that erupted after the first explosion in the military area was visible from the coasts of Antalya and Alanya, with photos posted on social media.

Access in the area has been blocked at a long distance, while access to Kyrenia is available via the mountain roads passing through the ammunition administration. The fire came under control at 7am, two hours after the explosions stopped, with “firefighting” forces still on the ground. The “police” in their announcement urge the public to be careful with fragments and not to touch or move parts of ammunition that have been scattered around the area due to the explosion.

According to Turkish-Cypriot media reports, many of the Acapulco hotel residents that got panicked by the explosions spent the night on the beach in front of the hotel, while medical was called in due to some tourists’ nausea, as a result of the smell of burning gunpowder. The hotel and other buildings in the area have been damaged, as the explosion led to windows breaking and fragments of the ammunition depot blowing up.

Update 2

Explosion at occupied territories leaves 12 people injured

“It is serious and needs to be handled with seriousness”, officials say

The number of people injured from the ongoing explosions in the ammunition command eventually amounts to 12; nine of them received first aid response and left the hospital, while three slightly injured were kept for surveillance, and are expected to be dismissed within the day, ‘prime minister’ Tatar said. Some of the wounded, he said, are locals and others are tourists. When asked whether there were soldiers who sustained any casualties or injuries, he replied that there have been no casualties, and that no injured soldiers had been taken to hospital.

Mr. Tatar also announced at a news conference that a team of experts from Ankara is on its way to the occupied territories, in order to conduct its own technical investigations, while investigations are already under way so that the causes of the chain explosions can be pointed out. He also said the affected area is 200 acres long and that the fire, which broke out after the explosions, did not spread due to the area not being a forest. A crisis management center has been set up in the ‘town hall’ of Agios Epiktitos, Ersin Tatar stated, and is currently dealing with the incident “which is serious and needs be handled with seriousness”.

What is reported from the occupied territories regarding the events

Explaining the facts, Mr. Tatar said that at around 1.30 am, for reasons that have yet to be clarified, there were ongoing explosions at an ammunition depot located in a section of the ammunition administration in the Klepin area. Immediately, he added, officials from the Turkish army, the ‘police’, ‘civil defense’ and ‘firefighters’ took action. When asked whether there remained any unexploded ordnance in the area, Mr. Tatar responded that experts from Ankara would check on it, whereas when it came to the scenario of a sabotage, he stressed that investigations and examinations were ongoing, but so far such a possibility has not been supported.

Called to comment for a military facility like the one in question being located at such a close distance from a residential area, Ersin Tatar said that when the warehouse was located there the area was not residential, adding that everything would be assessed after the incident. In the area where the explosions took place drones are flying, according to Turkish-Cypriot websites, while the “police” opened up some roads to allow traffic.

In a statement, the Turkish-Cypriot Medical Association notes that no one should  forget that the ordnance fragments spread after the explosion might contain gas, chemicals that might be dangerous, and advise citizens not to touch them. People with respiratory problems in the area are urged to wear a mask or even to be removed. ‘Foreign Minister’ Kudret Ozersay, speaking to the Crisis Management Center’s “Town Hall”, where the crisis center has been set up, called on the affected people of the area not to let the children, if they have any, to go out into the garden, while he also highlighted that no one must touch the pieces of ammunition that were fired due to the explosion.

He also denied reports that the Acapulco hotel in the area had been evacuated and was damaged by the blasts. According to Mr. Ozersay, tourists residing there that had to move so that they would not miss their flights, were moved to the airport as a group. Turkish-Cypriot media outlets report that many residents in the surrounding area either stayed out of their homes or left the area because of the explosions, while the hotel has returned to normal despite the broken glasses and other minor property damage. /ibna