Dozens of casualties feared in massive explosion in N. Iran

by The Daily Lede

Dozens of casualties feared in massive explosion in N. Iran

A heavy explosion has taken place at a warehouse in Qazvin, north Iran, according to local news agencies. Authorities expect high numbers of casualties as a subsequent fire tore through the area.

Unconfirmed local reports state that as many as 50 could have been either killed or injured in the city, which is considered a commercial hub.

A fire broke out, engulfing the city in a cloud of smoke. Roads leading to the site of the fire within a 2km radius have been closed off and people evacuated, according to the semi-official Fars news agency.

The fire has been burning for more than three hours, according to the Iranian Students’ News Agency (ISNA). Despite the efforts of firefighters, the situation is not yet under control. Local media has suggested that a nearby oil depot could be at risk.

Relief agencies such as the Red Cross as well as the military are on the scene, reported ISNA.