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Explosion at naval base in Zygi leaves 12 dead, 62 wounded
2011-07-11 13:59:19

Huge explosions occurred at Zygi Navy Base near Limassol, Cyprus, a few minutes before 6.00 am resulting in the death of 12 people and injuring 62 others, two of whom are still in critical condition. The explosion claimed the lives of 5 firefighters, four members of the National Guard and two sailors.

The naval base had munitions in storage, which Cyprus had confiscated from the Monchegorsk, a vessel sailing from Iran to Syria in 2009. The explosion appears to have occurred as a result of the high temperatures which caused the containers in which the explosives were kept to overheat, resulting in the subsequent explosion.

The blast also caused extensive damages to the nearby village of Mari while it also led to electricity cuts in many areas of Cyprus due to severe damages inflicted on nearby Vassiliko power plant station, the largest of the three in Cyprus. Officials said that demand for electricity is currently covered by the two other power plants in Moni and Dhekelia.

Meanwhile, the search for victims at the naval base continues as military sources confirmed that there is an unverified number of missing persons over and above the dead and injured so far.

In statements to the press President Christofias who visited the site at 10.30 am with Government Spokesman Stephanos Stephanou, extended his condolences to the families and relatives of the victims adding that what happened was a "disaster of biblical proportions."

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