An explosion at a military ammunition storage in western Turkey has killed 25 soldiers and left another four wounded, according to the Turkish army.
The blast occurred late on Wednesday at a military ammunition depot where hand grenades were stored and its cause was not yet known, said the chief of staff in a statement posted on the army’s website.
Government officials dismissed any act of terrorism or sabotage. “This is most probably an accident … It was probably caused after a hand grenade was dropped” Veysel Eroglu, environment and forestry minister, said in televised remarks. “This is certainly not an act of terrorism.”
The blast caused a fire in the depot which officials said was contained early on Thursday. The soldiers’ remains were discovered after the blaze that caused by the explosion was extinguished. The dead have yet to be identified.
Their remains will be sent to a military hospital in Ankara for DNA testing, NTV, a private television station reported. Unexploded hand grenades were found strewn around the storage facility after the explosion, authorities are working to defuse them.