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Derince port blast unlikely due to sabotage, says Turkish Grain Board chief

According to Ahmet Guldal, no one is allowed to enter the area unless they pass security checks

ANKARA, August 8. /TASS/. Turkish authorities are not ruling out an act of sabotage as the cause of a blast that rocked grain silos near the port of Derince, but the sabotage scenario appears unlikely, Turkish Grain Board General Manager Ahmet Guldal told CNN Turk.

"Increased security measures are in place at the port. No one is allowed to enter the area unless they pass security checks, no matter if it’s a government official or an employee. Clearly, all possible causes are being considered but an act of sabotage seems to be the weakest possibility," he said.

Guldal pointed out that no final conclusion on the cause of the port explosion had been made yet as experts were studying CCTV footage and other information about the incident.

According to the official, the port is home to a cluster of 60 grain silos, 13 of which suffered damage from the blast. "The grain silos have a total capacity of 95,000 metric tons. A total of 75,000 tons of grain - wheat and some barley - is currently stored there," Guldal specified.

The blast occurred at the Sea of Marmara port of Derince on Monday, leaving at least 13 people injured. According to a preliminary version, grain dust detonated as grain was being loaded into a silo. No damage was done to any of the ships that were anchored at the port at the time of the incident.