Iran's semi-official Fars news agency says a heavy explosion has rocked Qazvin city in the country's north, but later reports claimed that a large fire broke out Tuesday in an oil and wood storage facility, but only one person was injured.
However, local Governor Saeed Mirbaha was quoted as saying by Fars there were no deaths in the explosion, but firemen and rescue workers have intensified efforts to control a raging fire that has covered the sky in a large part of Qazvin city.
Image from Google Maps
The city's emergency department said two rescuers had been badly injured from smoke inhalation.
The Tuesday report said the explosion happened in a storage facility in Qazvin, a commercial city with many stores. The city was once the seat of Persia's ancient capital and is located roughly 100 miles northwest of Tehran.
The Los Angeles Times reported that the city might also be home to a secret nuclear facility. According to their report Iranian officials in the past had strongly denied claims by "a cult-like" group of Iranian exiles called Mujahedin Khalq Organization, or MKO, who claim there is a secret nuclear enrichment facility in Abyek, in Qazvin.
According to the Times, the MKO has ties to "neoconservative opponents" of Iran's nuclear program in Washington.
An additional report claimed
the in 2009, Fars reported that an inspection team from the International Atomic Energy Agency inspected a uranium mine in central Iran – a possible reference to the facility.
The mayor of Qazvin, Masoud Nosrati, denied earlier reports that there was an explosion at the site. He also said firefighters had contained the blaze.
The head of the emergency department Habibollah Behtooei also rejected earlier reports about a large number of casualties, saying nobody was in the facility when the fire began and only one rescue worker was injured.
Earlier, the semi-official Fars news agency said the explosion happened in a wood and oil storage facility, leaving nearly 50 people injured - many in serious condition. Many cargo depots are located in the city, some 130 kilometers (80 miles) west of the capital, Tehran.
Fars also said police have closed off roads to the area where the explosion took place, in an old neighborhood.
Local media in Iran frequently issue conflicting reports amid the chaos that breaks out during emergency situations and it is difficult to independently confirm them.