Grain silos explosion rocks Turkish port0 (0)

Grain silos explosion rocks Turkish port
0 (0)

August 10, 2023

At least 12 individuals were injured following an explosion within silos of the Turkish Grain Board at the Port of Derince on the Gulf of Izmit, at around 2:40 pm local time yesterday, August 7.

The explosion occurred while grain was offloaded by a vessel at the Marmara Seaport, east-southeast of Istanbul.

It is not known from where the load of grain was coming, and early indications suggest that compacted wheat dust caused the explosion.

This has already been confirmed as extremely likely by Seddar Yavuz, the governor of Kocaeli Province, where Derince is situated.

Initially, it was feared that the port could have been struck by another earthquake, similar to the 7.8 magnitude disaster that devastated Iskenderun on the eastern coast of the Mediterranean in February.

Yavuz also added that although the Derince explosion does not appear to have resulted from an act of terrorism, it has not been ruled out.

Derince, operated by the Turkish State Railways, is one of the last remaining state-run ports in the country.

The silos can carry up to eight million tonnes of wheat, barley, legumes, chickpeas, and lentils, and it is entirely possible that wheat dust, highly flammable in a densely compacted environment, may have led to the explosion, Yavuz reiterated.

However, it is also possible that the explosion, involving a shipment of grain, is linked to Turkey’s continued involvement in related agricultural exports from Ukraine.

The explosion comes less than three weeks after Russia announced its decision to withdraw from a UN initiative allowing Ukrainian grain exports through the Black Sea, an initiative that was led by Turkey.

Since then, dry bulk carriers have continued to collect loads from ports like Odessa, often under the protection of warplanes belonging to NATO member countries.

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