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Explosion in northwestern Turkey grain silos injures 12

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A grain silo explosion in northwestern Turkey on Monday injured 12 people and damaged some 15,000 tons of grain, the state-run Anadolu news agency reported, citing officials.

The explosion at the port of Derince in the Gulf of İzmit, about 75 kilometers from İstanbul, was likely caused by “wheat dust compression during the transfer of wheat from a ship to the silo,” Kocaeli Governor Seddar Yavuz said.

The governor said an investigation is underway to determine the exact cause of the blast, which was felt across the city and covered the skyline with thick smoke and dust.

The blast took place in Turkish Grain Board (TMO) silos.

Kocaeli Mayor Yılmaz Tunç said among the 12 injured, three were in critical condition.

The TMO said 13 silos out of 60 silos and outbuildings were damaged in the incident.

A statement from the Turkish presidency’s communications directorate put the amount of grain damaged in the explosion at 15,000 tons despite some claims on social media suggesting that 8 million tons of grain were damaged.

The statement said the total storage capacity of the silos at the port of Derince is 95,000 tons and that there were 75,000 tons of grain in the silos affected by the explosion, adding that around 20 percent of the stored grain was damaged.

The Ministry of Transportation said no ships were damaged due to the explosion.

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