Large explosions seen near military facility in Jordan

14 September 2020 (Last Updated September 14th, 2020 12:03)

A series of large explosions were seen near a military ammunition depot in Zarqa, one of the largest cities in Jordan.

Large explosions seen near military facility in Jordan
A soldier with the Jordanian Armed Forces during a live-fire exercise. Image Representative. Credit: Lance Cpl Austin Lewis.

A series of large explosions were seen near a military ammunition depot in Zarqa, one of the largest cities in Jordan.

Initial investigations indicate that an intense heatwave in the country caused thermal expansion of the mortar shells stored in the facility triggering the blasts, Reuters reported citing local Jordanian Army spokesman Brigadier General Talal al Ghobain.

Images circulating social media showed that large flames engulfing the night sky followed by multiple explosions. However, there are no reports of fatalities or injuries.

This month, temperatures soared to 45°C (113°F) in Jordan breaking decades of records.

The blast site is located within a high-security zone, which hosts major US-equipped army bases.

A local resident Nabila Issa was quoted by Reuters as saying: “We felt like an earthquake had struck. Our windows shook and glass shattered. My kids started crying.”

Following the blast, security forces sealed the city to control the situation.

State media quoted Jordan Army chief of staff major general Yusef al Huneiti as saying that the swift response in dealing with the explosions had reduced losses.

Several bases and depots are located in Zarqa, a city located around 25km from the capital of Amman with a population of around 1.5 million.

A few days ago, Jordan restored military service for unemployed men within the age group of 25-29, reported AFP. This came after unemployment surged due to the Covid-19 crisis.