A heavy explosion rocked an industrial city in northern Iran on Tuesday, Iranian state television said, saying that no one has been reported killed so far, according to AP.
A Pakistani News agency, however, cited unconfirmed local report that as many as 50 people are feared dead and hundreds injured in a huge explosion that ripped through Iran’s Qazvin city. The authorities expect the casualties to rise, Iranian media reported.
The blaze engulfed 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 Iran’s 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.
The Los Angeles Times reported that the city might also be home to a secret nuclear facility. According to their report Iranian officials in the past had strongly denied claims by “a cult-like” group of Iranian exiles called Mujahedin Khalq Organization, or MKO, who claim there is a secret nuclear enrichment facility in Abyek, in Qazvin.
According to the Times, the MKO has ties to “neoconservative opponents” of Iran’s nuclear program in Washington.