Turkey explosion: 200 workers trapped as fireworks factory erupts turning sky black

Terrifying footage showing huge plumes of smoke and fireworks blasting rapidly into the air is being shared online. Local residents have been advised to close their door and windows to prevent smoke inhalation. Sakarya Governor Çetin Oktay Kaldırım said that there were about 150 to 200 people working in the factory at the time of the explosion.

Governor Oktay Kaldırım added that the factory had 110 tonnes of fireworks in its warehouse at the time of the explosion.

The National reported that up to 200 employees inside the burning factory “cannot be reached”.

It was not immediately clear what triggered the blasts. A huge plume of dark grey smoke rose from the area, video footage on CNN Turk showed.

Many ambulances and fire fighting vehicles rushed to the scene after the blasts which were heard up to 50 km (31 miles) away, Anadolu said.

It comes as Germany will keep reviewing travel advice for Turkey, Foreign Minister Heiko Maas told his Turkish counterpart on Thursday, saying decisions were coordinated with the European Union and based on reliable infection data and the health situation.

Turkey is disappointed that the EU has excluded it, along with the United States and others, from a list of countries deemed safe for non-essential travel. Ankara has called on the bloc to correct its “mistake”.

Speaking to reporters after talks with Turkish Foreign Minister Mevlut Cavusoglu in Berlin, Maas said reviews of the situation took place every two weeks.

He said: “This is about how we guarantee safe tourism in the corona crisis,” said Maas, adding that the EU had taken first steps in opening up tourism.

Turkey has identified more than 200,000 coronavirus cases with 5,150 deaths.

Maas welcomed the latest information given him by Cavusoglu, including on Turkey’s use of the hydroxychloroquine drug on coronavirus patients, which has been an area of concern.

“It was clearly said that in the event of an infection in Turkey, no measures must be given against the will of the infected person,” said Maas. “This is an important advance.”

Cavusoglu said getting tourism going again was important also for German travel companies.” After evaluating the situation based on the objective criteria, Turkey should be listed within the safe and secure countries,” he said.

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