BREAKING: Iranian news agency reports heavy explosion in Qazvin city in north, many casualties expected.
— The Associated Press (@AP) May 6, 2014
The Associated Press is reporting a large explosion in the Iranian city of Qazvin. The AP says that many casualties are expected. The city is located just to the west of the capital Tehran.
Here’s what we know so far:
1. Qazvin May Have a Secret Nuclear Weapons Plant
It had been reported in 2009 that Qazvin was the site of secret uranium enrichment plant. It was reported by Fars News Agency in Iran on May 5 that an inspection team from the International Atomic Energy Agency arrived in the country to inspect a uranium mine in Central Iran.
2. Reports From Iran Indicate Up to 50 People Have Been Killed
Sajjad Eslamian, a reporter with the Iranian news agency has tweeted that the explosion happened in a cellar and that up to 50 people have been killed or injured.
3. The Cause of the Explosion is Unknown
Smoke around Qazvin and reports of people evacuated, but I'm not seeing news of an explosion, Mehr news says the fire was caused by welding.
— Thomas Erdbrink (@ThomasErdbrink) May 6, 2014
It’s unknown what the cause of the explosion was. Thomas Erdbrink with The New York Times reports that local news reports are saying an oil storage is burning. He added that people are being evacuated from the area but that he hasn’t seen reports of an explosion. The RT reports that firefighters have been battling a blaze at an oil depot in the region for hours.
— Khalid Khan™ (@khalidkhan787) May 6, 2014
4. The City is Home to One of Iran’s Largest Power Plants
The Shahid Raja’i is located in Qazvin and it currently one of Iran’s largest electrical power plant generating around 7 percent of all of the nation’s electrical power.
5. Qazvin is One of the Most Historically Significant Cities in Iran
Qazvin city is one of Iran’s most important archeological centers. During the era of the Persian Empire, the Qazvin city was the capital.