‘Many Casualties’ Expected in Qazvin City Explosion

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

Qazvin City Explosion

(Google Maps)

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

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.

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

An example of the classic Iranian architecture in Qazvin. (Wikipedia)

An example of the classic Iranian architecture in Qazvin. (Wikipedia)

Qazvin city is one of Iran’s most important archeological centers. During the era of the Persian Empire, the Qazvin city was the capital.