Breaking…Huge Explosion in Iranian City with Nuclear FacilityPosted: November 28, 2011
The Guardian UK says there are “conflicting reports” about a major explosion in Isfahn, a city near the Iranian nuclear plants.
Iran’s semi-official Isna news agency quoted a judiciary official in Isfahan, saying that an explosion had been heard.
“We heard a sound similar to that of an explosion but we have received no reports about its causes and the consequences so far,” said Gholamreza Ansari, in quotes carried by Isna. He said the explosion did not appear to be of any significance.
Iran’s semi-official Fars news agency was one of the first media organisations to report the explosion, saying it was heard at 2.40pm local time (1110 GMT). Fars quoted the deputy governor, Mehdi Ismaili, as confirming a sound that the news agency reported was loud enough to be heard across the city. The agency, however, removed the article from its website sometime later.
Ismaili then spoke to another semi-official agency, Mehr, denying his quotes as reported by Fars. “I have heard no sound whatsoever in Isfahan,” he said. Ismaili also told the Irna state news agency that he had not spoken to Fars in the first place.
Several residents of Isfahan told the Guardian that they had heard a loud blast. One said that it rattled the windows of their home.
So far most of the media reports seems to be coming from Israeli sources. This one is from Haaretz:
An explosion rocked the western Iranian city of Isfahan on Monday, the semi-official Fars news agency reported, adding that the blast was heard in several parts of the city.
According to reports, frightened residents called the fire department after the blast, forcing the city authorities to admit there had been an explosion.Residents reported that their windows shook from the explosion’s force.
Speaking to an Iranian news website, the government of Isfahan said that the explosion occurred as a result of a military drill, denying reports that the blast was somehow related to the nearby nuclear facility.
“There is no such thing, the blast was entirely from the military maneuver,” the Iranian official said.
The Isfahan uranium conversion plant operates under the supervision of the International Atomic Energy Agency, and is frequented by its inspectors and surveyed by cameras that broadcast to the IAEA headquarters in Vienna.
Thus, had the explosion occurred at the nuclear site, the UN’s nuclear watchdog would have known of the incident.
I certainly hope there is a reasonable explanation for this that doesn’t involve nukes or bombs dropped by another country.
I’ll update as I hear more.
UPDATE: From CNN, satellite images of the exposion.