A powerful explosion on Friday in a fireworks factory left at least four people dead and a hundred injured in northwestern Turkey.

At least four people were killed and a hundred injured on Friday by a powerful explosion in a fireworks factory in Turkey, authorities said.

The explosion, described as “industrial accident” by rescuers, occurred at the end of the morning in Hendek, in the province of Sakarya, in the northwest of Turkey.

97 hospitalized victims

“For the moment, four of our fellow citizens have died (…) and 97 injured have been taken to hospital,” said Health Minister Fahrettin Koca during a press conference on the spot.

Interior Minister S├╝leyman Soylu said three factory workers were still missing. The fire was also brought under control, he said in the early evening.

After the explosion, an impressive mushroom of white smoke rose several hundred meters into the sky to the sound of the crackling of fireworks in the factory, according to images broadcast by Turkish television channels.

Several consecutive explosions

According to witnesses quoted by local media, the detonation was felt within a radius of fifty kilometers, some residents first believing that it was an earthquake.

The emergency response was complicated by the explosions that continued to occur in the hours after the initial blast, authorities said.

Sign of the authorities’ concern, President Recep Tayyip Erdogan sent three ministers to the site.

In 2009 and 2014, two explosions had already occurred in the same factory, leaving two dead and forty injured, according to Turkish media.