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1 Dead After Explosion at Istanbul Airport

One person killed and several aircraft damaged after an explosion near a commercial aircraft rocks Istanbul airport.

At least one person is dead and another injured after an explosion went off at an airport in Istanbul, Turkey. The explosion happened in the early morning hours at Istanbul Sabiha Gokcen Airport (SAW), with concerned authorities scrambling to determine the exact cause.

Reuters reports the incident took place around 2 a.m. local time, near a Pegasus Airlines aircraft. The Turkish carrier confirmed the blast killed one woman and injured another. According to local authorities, the explosion was powerful enough to damage a total of five airplanes parked on the tarmac.

“Weakness in the airport’s security is out of the question,” Turkish transportation minister Binaldi Yildirim told Reuters. “All international security standards are being implemented.”

In a statement posted by Yahoo! Travel, Pegasus Airlines identified the dead woman as Zehra Yamac, one of two cleaning staff members involved. The other woman was identified as Cana Burgulu and was reported as being treated for her injuries. The airline expressed their condolences for those affected by the incident.

Although the transportation minister did not use the word terrorism to describe the explosion, other safety officials believe the incident may be an attack. Noted British security expert Matthew Finn told The Telegraph that the preliminary evidence points to a planned act of terrorism at the airport.

“Other scenarios don’t really stand up,” Finn told The Telegraph. “There are things like the cooker in the galley of a plane that could malfunction and hurt someone, but the blast radius is so wide that it looks like it was some kind of device.”

SAW is the smaller of the two airports in Istanbul, serving fewer passengers than neighboring Istanbul Ataturk Airport (IST). Airport officials say no passengers were affected by the explosion.

[Photo: Shutterstock]

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