Factory blast near Iran’s capital kills two in latest explosion

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Two people were killed in an explosion at a factory south of Tehran on Tuesday, the latest in a series of fires and explosions, some of which have hit sensitive sites.

State news agency IRNA reported “human error” was the cause of the blast.

“Two people were killed and three others were injured,” said local official Amin Babai, adding the explosion happened in “an industrial zone” at Baqershahr, 23km (14 miles) from the capital.

“The explosion that was caused by some workers’ negligent handling of oxygen tanks … was so powerful that the walls of a factory nearby were also totally destroyed,” Babai was quoted as saying.

Babai said firefighters were on the scene shortly after the blast and “prevented further fires and explosions”.

“The explosion … was so powerful that the walls of the Saipapress factory nearby were also totally destroyed,” Babai said, without giving details on the function of the factory.

Fire at Iran’s Natanz nuclear facility caused significant damage

The incident took place inside the Oxijen factory at 3:03am local time (22:33 GMT Monday), an emergency services spokesperson told AFP news agency.

‘Great Satan’

Iran’s Atomic Energy Organisation on Tuesday denied “false allegations by counter-revolutionary elements in the media of an explosion” at another nuclear plant in Ardakan, about 450km southeast of Tehran.

“Nothing happened” at the yellow-cake production plant, it said in a statement.

The rumours are aimed at creating “despair” and supporting the campaign of “maximum pressure of the Great Satan [the United States]” against Iran, the atomic energy agency said.

Last Thursday, a fire broke out at a ground-level building at Iran’s underground Natanz facility, the centrepiece of Iran’s uranium enrichment programme, which the authorities said caused significant damage.

The UN’s nuclear agency released a photo of a building apparently damaged by fire at Natanz, with doors hanging off hinges after they appeared to have been blown outwards.

On Friday, Iran’s Supreme National Security Council announced the “cause of the accident” at Natanz had been “accurately determined”. It declined to give further details, citing security reasons.

Also last week, 19 people were killed in an explosion at a medical clinic in the north of Tehran, which an official said was caused by a gas leak.

On June 26, an explosion occurred east of Tehran near the Parchin military and weapons development base that authorities said was caused by a leak at a gas storage facility in an area outside the base.

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