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Industrial blast kills 19 in Istanbul

Jan. 31, 2008 at 8:03 AM   |   Comments

ISTANBUL, Turkey, Jan. 31 (UPI) -- At least 19 people were killed Thursday in an industrial explosion that partially collapsed a five-story building in Istanbul, Turkish media said.

Initial reports said 68 people were injured but Turkish television put the number at 117.

City Gov. Muammer Guler said there were no immediate indications the blast was linked to a terror attack, the Hurriyet news agency said.

"It's certain that the explosion was related to a sparkler, torch or fireworks," Guler said.

Four of the injured were in critical condition, he said.

Witnesses told CNN Turk television the explosion happened on the third floor around 9:30 a.m. Thursday. That blast apparently triggered a fire and second explosion.

The building in the Zeytinburnu industrial suburb also houses textile and paper processing companies, the New Anatolian said.

© 2008 United Press International, Inc. All Rights Reserved. Any reproduction, republication, redistribution and/or modification of any UPI content is expressly prohibited without UPI's prior written consent.
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