Zygi: At least eight people have been killed in a blast at a munitions dump in southern Cyprus. Early reports said a fire broke out near the Evangelos Florakis naval base at Zygi in the early hours of the morning.Two containers of explosive caught fire, a police spokesman told the semi-official CNA news agency. There were 98 containers in the depot.
The fire is not yet under control, media reports say.
The number of people injured is not yet known.
The island’s largest electricity station has been knocked out, causing widespread power cuts, a spokesman for the state-run utility said.
The Vassilikos power plant lies close to the naval base.
The blast was “rather like a sonic boom”, eyewitness Hermes Solomon said.
He was staying in a caravan on a campsite not far from the base.
“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.”
There are suggestions the explosives were confiscated from a ship travelling from Iran to Syria two years ago, our correspondent reports.
The explosives were being stored in a munitions dump near the base, she adds.
State television said the blasts caused extensive damage to property in the area and sparked wildfires in nearby scrubland in the tinder-dry summer conditions.