Two firefighters were wounded in a huge explosion that occurred during a two-hour struggle to contain a blaze at an Istanbul chemical factory, Diken news portal reported on Wednesday.
Istanbul Metropolitan Municipality Firefighting Division head Ali Karahan said the fire broke out on Wednesday in a factory that is part of the Orhanlı Leather Organized Industrial Zone in Istanbul’s Tuzla district. The cause of the fire was unknown.
Karahan said 48 fire engines and 138 personnel were part of efforts to extinguish the fire.
The fire that started around 11.40 am local time was followed by a blast that sent a metal tank flying into the air and injured firefighters Yusuf Tuysuz and Nebi Polat at 3 pm.
While one of the firefighters was taken to the hospital, the other received sufficient treatment at the scene.
One fire engine along with several cars in the factory’s parking lot also caught fire due to the small explosions that took place in the plant.
Daily Sabah said that thick black smoke rising from the fire covered the area located three kilometers east of the Sabiha Gokcen International Airport, Istanbul’s second-largest gateway.
The Istanbul Governor’s Office said a total of seven people, including two firemen, were affected by the fumes and received ambulatory treatment in hospital.
A liquid chemical substance spilled into the street from the factory because of the fire. The fire crew closed Aydinli and Orhanli roads near the factory to traffic as a precaution against possible danger.
Diken reported that the chemicals emitted into the air due to the fire have been transported away to Kocaeli, Sakarya and Eskisehir provinces through wind drift.
Speaking to Demiroren News Agency (DHA), Huseyin Toros, an academic from the Department of Meteorological Engineering at Istanbul Technical University, warned that the chemicals might be very hazardous.
“People living in the regions where the chemicals are drifted by the wind should keep their windows closed or leave the area if it is possible,” advised.