Massive Explosion at Cyprus Naval Base

Discussion in 'Current Affairs, News and Analysis' started by DesktopCommando, Jul 11, 2011.

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  1. At least 10 people have been killed in a huge explosion at a naval base in Cyprus, it has been reported.


    The semi-official Cyprus News Agency (CNA) said dozens of people have been injured at the Evangelos Florakis base, between the southern coastal cities of Limassol and Larnaca.

    It is believed the blast occurred in the early hours of this morning in an area where munitions seized from a vessel heading to Syria from Iran in 2009 had been dumped.

    "There are a number of dead which we cannot confirm yet," a spokesperson for the Ministry of Defence said.

    The intensity of the blast caused damage to neighbouring communities and windows and doors of beachside restaurants were blown out.

    Police spokesman Michalis Katsounotos said that a fire at a nearby power station had been contained.

    A witness told Reuters: "The place looks like it was hit by a massive bomb."

    ...more to follow

    Cyprus: At Least 10 People Killed In Explosions At Army Base Says Cyprus News Agency | World News | Sky News
  2. bomb blast - Cyprus Mail

    National Guard Liutenant General Petros Tsalikidis said the blasts occurred in a dump housing munitions, which Cyprus had confiscated from the Monchegorsk vessel, which was heading to Syria from Iran in 2009.

    Tsalikidis said: 'There was an explosion in containerized ammunition which were seized from a ship three years ago, and we are trying to manage the crisis.'

    Cyprus News Agency quoted military sources as saying there were also scores of injured at the Evangelos Florakis base, between the coastal cities of Limassol and Larnaca.

    "There are a number of dead which we cannot confirm yet," a spokesperson for the Ministry of Defence said.

    "It looks like a bombed-out landscape," another witness told Sigma television.

    No civilian fatalities have been reported, however Reuters reported the blast caused extensive damage to the neighbouring community, and shattered windows and doors of a restaurant in a popular tourist resort three kilometres away.

    Injured blast victims are being moved to Limassol General Hospital, while Larnaca hospital is said to be on high alert.

    The road between Mari and Governor's beach is closed as of 8.20am.

    More follows later
  3. BuggerAll

    BuggerAll LE Reviewer Book Reviewer

    Google news is reporting from AFP that the power station at Vassiliko has been flattened and that there are power cuts in Larnaka and across the south of the Island.
  4. chrisg46

    chrisg46 LE Book Reviewer

    Out of interest, how close is this place to the UK forces, including UN? My mate is out there at the moment, and his mrs will probably start panicking. Looking at the map above, its roughly half way between the SBA's?
  5. Dunno about the UN but from what I remember the SBA areas are all well north of the demolition area.
  6. BuggerAll

    BuggerAll LE Reviewer Book Reviewer

    Correct answer. It's also a longish way from the UN deployments. Although the beaches around there are quite nice I doubt if it's used for adventurous training because of it's proximity to the Zygi base and the sensitivity of the National Guard. You might also reassure your mates wife that NOTICAS reporting these days is very quick. If there was anything to tell she almost certainly would have been told by now.
  7. Cyprus explosion knocks out island's electricity plant
    At least 12 people were killed today when a depot at the main naval base on Cyprus, containing confiscated arms from the Middle East, exploded sending shock waves across surrounding villages.


    Initial reports indicated a brush fire crept into the arms depot on the Evangelos Florakis Naval Base, on the southern coast of the island near the town of Zygi.

    It set light to gunpowder stored there since being confiscated in February 2009 from a Cypriot flagged ship, the Monchegorsk, that was suspected of transporting it from Iran to Gaza.

    The explosion killed two sailors, four soldiers from the National Guard and five firemen, and it was thought the death toll would rise.

    A nearby power station at Vassilikou, the largest on the island was struck by the blast, knocking out local power supplies. Among its customers is a BBC relay station, six of whose transmitters, broadcasting English-language services to the Middle East, were disrupted.The ministry said the explosion occurred at the Evangelos Florakis Naval Base on the Mediterranean island's southern coast at around 6am (0300GMT).

    State radio said the dead included two Cyprus navy sailors, two soldiers and five firefighters.

    Footage broadcast on state television CyBC showed numerous damaged cars stopped along a stretch of highway near the base. One person who was in a car passing the base at the time of the explosion told CyBC that it felt like "a bomb had been dropped on the car."

    CyBC said the explosion also caused numerous injuries and extensive damage to homes in villages near the naval base.

    A ministry official who spoke on condition of anonymity because the investigation was not complete said it appeared to have been caused by a brush fire that broke out nearby and spread to the base.

    The fire ignited gunpowder stored in containers that Cypriot authorities confiscated in February 2009 from a ship sailing off its coast.

    The ship, the Cypriot-flagged Monchegorsk, had been suspected of carrying the gunpowder from Iran to Gaza.

    State radio quoted National Guard Chief Petros Tsalikides who is at the naval base as saying that the explosion caused a "great catastrophe."

    Police spokesman Michalis Katsounotos said that a fire at a nearby Vasiliko power station has been contained.

    Cyprus Electricity Authority official Yiannis Tsouloftas said the power station - the island's primary electricity generator - sustained extensive damage as a result of the explosion's concussion wave and will remain offline for at least Monday.

    Tsouloftas said the island's two other smaller power stations will try to cover electricity demand, but authorities are appealing to the public to reduce consumption as much as possible.

    Fire from the blast spread to Vassilikos, an electricity facility which provides Cyprus with half of its power.

    "We can't assess the extent of the damage, but it's a biblical disaster," spokesman Costas Gavrielides said.

    “The doors crashed together, the glass blew in - windows, door frames, things left their shelves. It was a total mess inside, as though a bomb had hit the place,” a witness, Hermes Solomon, told the BBC.

    Windows were blown out at tourist restaurants and bars in the nearby fishing village.

    Britain has about 3,500 military personnel based in Cyprus, most at the Akrotiri air base about 25 miles away from Zygi and Dhekelia army base further to the east. There were no initial reports of British casualties.Ambulances were seen rushing to the scene, while hospitals all over the island issued emergency appeals for blood.

    The military base stored munitions from the Monchegorsk, which Cyprus intercepted sailing from Iran to Syria in 2009 after pressure from the US, confiscating its cargo for being in violation of UN sanctions on Iran.

    The intensity of the blast caused extensive damage to property nearby and to a popular tourist resort 3km away, where windows and doors of beachside restaurants were blown out.
  8. The explosion supposedly involved Iranian black powder confiscated from a Cypriot ship whilst being smuggled to Syria. Black powder, if kept cool and dry, is one of the most stable explosives there is and has a huge shelf life.

    Black powder is easy to manufacture and has been produced in Iran for centuries. Even rabid donkey molesting carpet kissers can't get that wrong.

    The question is, was the unstable shipment of "black powder" meant to blow up in Syria or was it meant to blow up after NATO confiscation?
  9. When did the Cypriots join NATO?
  10. Gadaffi's war on Europe?

    Tin foil hat is on.
  11. And this is the reason why you need ATs who aren't just HT IEDD!
  12. Who uses black powder and for what? I'm not aware of any insurgents using muzzle loaders but I do not claim to be well informed on these things.
  13. Wouldn't be black powder but media don't do technical stuff.
    Unlucky or somebody being stupid
  14. seaweed

    seaweed LE Book Reviewer

    Qn for the eventual inquiry seems to be why was the gunpowder stored and not disposed of.
  15. ugly

    ugly LE Moderator

    Perhaps it has to be evidence or possibly reclaimed, either way not too smart!