At least two people were killed and three others injured in a large explosion at the Sepahan Boresh factory in the city of Baqershahr near Tehran on Monday night, according to Iranian and foreign reports.
The explosion was caused by "negligence in filling oxygen tanks," the Kahrizak district governor told Radio Free Europe/Radio Liberty on Tuesday. The walls of the Saipa Press Company, located next to the factory, were damaged by the explosion as well."Human error was the cause of the blast in a factory ... Two people were killed and three others were injured," said local official Amin Babai, adding that the explosion happened in "an industrial zone" at Baqershahr near Tehran."The explosion that was caused by some workers' negligent handling of oxygen tanks.... was so powerful that the walls of a factory nearby were also totally destroyed."
A large explosion was reportedly heard by residents of areas south of Tehran and in the Kahrizak area.The location of the explosion is not far from the warehouse where Iran's nuclear archive was found by Israel in 2018, reported the IntelliTimes intelligence blog. The Saipa Press Company is located about 11 km. northeast from the area where the nuclear archive was found in the Shurabad commercial area. A warehouse where Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu claimed that nuclear equipment and material was stored is also located nearby in the Turouzabad area. The International Atomic Energy Agency found traces of uranium at the warehouse in 2019 and began investigating its origin, according to Reuters.IntelliTimes reported that the Sepahan Boresh factory belongs to the Iranian automotive manufacturer SAIPA. It cooperates with the Iranian Ministry of Defense; the Iranian Revolutionary Guards Corps is involved in the company as well.
This is the third explosion reported in the Tehran region in the past two weeks and the most recent in a series of explosions and fires reported in industrial areas and infrastructure throughout Iran.
On June 26, an explosion was reported at a gas storage facility near Tehran. Iranian media reported that the incident happened in a "public area" in Parchin and not at a military site located nearby. Western security services believe Tehran carried out tests relevant to nuclear bomb detonations in Parchin more than a decade ago; Iran denies this.
Days later, on June 30, another explosion happened at a medical facility in Tehran, killing 19 people. Some initial reports attributed the explosion to oxygen tanks as well.Later that week, an explosion was reported at a building at the Natanz nuclear facility where centrifuges were reportedly housed.
The Noor News website, close with Iran's Supreme National Security Council and the Hamshahri newspaper described the Natanz explosion as an "attack" on Tuesday, writing that "there is evidence that it was intentional," according to Radio Farda.
The report published by Noor stated that the Natanz site is difficult to defend. The extent of the damage and intelligence have strengthened the probability that the Natanz explosion was intentional, according to the report.
On Saturday, a fire broke out at the Shahid Medhaj Zargan power plant in the city of Ahvaz in southwestern Iran, and a chlorine leak sent dozens of employees to the emergency room at a petrochemical plant in the same region on Saturday, according to Iranian media.
The fire at the power plant broke out after a transformer exploded, according to the semi-official Fars News Agency. A spokesman for the Iranian electricity industry later told Iranian media that the "connection" of one of the transformers caused the fire, not an explosion.About an hour after the fire at the power plant, 70 people were injured from a chlorine gas leak at the Karun Petrochemical Company, located south of Ahvaz, according to the Iranian IRNA news agency. The leak occurred after a pipe from a tank ruptured. The cause of the rupture is being investigated, according to a local official.
Iran's Atomic Energy Organization denied earlier reports by Iranian opposition media of an explosion at the Shahid Rezaei Nejad Nuclear Facility in Ardakan in the Yazd province in central Iran, saying no incident happened at the site.
The Atomic Energy Organization stated that "counter-revolutionary elements abroad" published the reports in order to "cooperate with the Zionist terrorist and war-mongering regime."
The reports of an explosion at the nuclear site in Yazd were mostly spread on social media. The reports were accompanied with a satellite image claiming to show damage in the area.Reuters contributed to this report.