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    Explosion in Istanbul causes panic

    Hürriyet Haber
    16.10.2005 - 10:16 | Son Güncelleme:

    An explosion at the Opet oil station in Maslak, Istanbul caused great panic on Saturday evening. Located in one of the most central areas of town, the station turned into a battle ground as one LPG vehicle exploded, leaving four others heavily damaged. The fire brigade and police arrived quickly on the scene and the situation was brought under control, however, speculation over what caused the explosion remains.

    Three staff members from the station, and two taxi drivers were injured and taken to the nearby hospitals.

    “I was about to buy some fuel when it happened,” said one taxi driver, “I did not see any flames, though."

    Mustafa Sarigul, mayor of the Sisli district, turned up at the station soon after the event. Sarigul confirmed that the explosion took place on a private vehicle, rather than a taxi car.

    Police officer Celalettin Cerrah told the press that a witness had told he had seen the explosion resulting from a carelessly thrown cigarette. Although, Cerrah said, the police would not be writing off the possibility of a bomb.

    The fact that the station is a property of the Turkish Martyrs Foundation brings about concerns that the explosion might have been a PKK attack.

    Samples from the site are being examined by criminal laboratories to determine the truth behind what happened.

    Opet Petrol CEO Fikret Ozturk is inclined to think the event was a bomb attack: “There is a deep hole where the explosion took place. I hardly think a LPG explosion would do that.”
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