Weapons storage facility in Syria explodes killing 15 soldiers

Thursday, July 26, 2007

A military weapons storage facility in al-Masalmyiah, just north of Aleppo, Syria has exploded, killing at least 15 Syrian soldiers and injuring at least 50 others. The explosion occurred on the grounds of a military academy's infantry school where weapons and ammunition are stored.

The blast, which occurred at 4:30 a.m. EEST (UTC+3) is believed to have been caused by excessive summer temperatures, but other reports suggest that a gas leak may have sparked the blast. The incident is reported to not be terrorism related.

"[The blast was] not the result of sabotage. There is a heat wave and temperatures reached close to 50 degrees (Celsius) [Nearly 115 (Fahrenheit)], which caused an ammunition dump to explode," said an unnamed Syrian official.

Firefighters report several deaths and injuries, but also said that the fires caused by the blast have been extinguished.