Twenty-five soldiers were killed and four others were lightly wounded in an explosion at a military arms depot in western Turkey which officials said Thursday was most probably an accident.
The blast occurred around 1815 GMT late Wednesday at a section of the military ammunition site in Afyon province where hand grenades were stored, the Turkish military announced in a statement posted on its website.
The cause of the blast was not immediately known, it said, but a government minister dismissed any deliberate act often attributed to the outlawed Kurdistan Workers’ Party (PKK) and said it was most probably an accident.
“This is most probably an accident,” Environment and Forestry Minister Veysel Eroglu said in televised remarks. “This is certainly not an act of terrorism.”
Eroglu also warned citizens not to approach the area because hand grenades were dispersed around the site after the explosion.
The blast caused a blaze in the depot which officials said was contained early Thursday when the remains of the soldiers were discovered.
The dead were not identified yet and their remains will be sent to a military hospital in Ankara for DNA testing, the private NTV television said.