Blasts, blackouts rock Turkmen capital

Reuters News
Posted: Jul 07, 2011 7:14 PM
Blasts, blackouts rock Turkmen capital

ASHGABAT (Reuters) - Several explosions were heard in the Turkmen capital on Thursday afternoon and electricity supplies were intermittent, which authorities attributed to a blast in a firework storage facility.

Residents of the capital of the gas-rich, secretive Central Asian state heard several loud bangs coming from the town of Abadan just outside Ashgabat, at about 1600 (7 a.m. EDT).

The authorities of the desert nation issued a statement hours later, saying that fireworks had detonated at a storage facility in the nearby town of Abadan due to hot weather. It said there had been no casualties or serious destruction.

"The local population is being given all necessary kinds of medical, social and other types of assistance," it said. The statement said the government meeting on the accident had been chaired by the country's strongman President Kurbanguly Berdymukhamedov.

(Reporting by Marat Gurt; Writing by Dmitry Solovyov; Editing by Elizabeth Fullerton)