A view of the damaged Mari power station – the island’s primary electricity generator – following a huge explosion at the Evangelos Florakis naval base in Mari, Cyprus.
A Cypriot official said right after the blast that a brush fire had ignited more than 90 containers confiscated in 2009 from a ship heading from Iran to Syria. The official, who spoke on condition of anonymity due to the sensitivity of the matter, later said that the fire may have started inside one of the containers.
The blast knocked out the island’s main power station, causing widespread power cuts throughout the day. The Electricity Authority said the station won’t come immediately come back online.
Bodies covered with white sheets lay scattered on a charred hillside near the Evangelos Florakis Naval Base on the Mediterranean island’s southern coast, while ambulances ferried the injured to hospitals in Larnaca and Limassol. The bodies of the dead where taken to a morgue at Nicosia hospital in the Cypriot capital.