Kremlin propagandists were quick to say that the explosion had been caused by arms shipments destined for Ukraine. But neither the local authorities nor the media reported the presence of military material at the scene of the accident.
On August 7, an explosion rocked grain silos near the port of Derince in western Turkey. The blast killed one person and injured at least 12 more.
A few days later, Russian propagandists began spreading accusations that the explosion had been caused by a shipment of weapons intended for transfer to the Ukrainian Armed Forces.
“Very strange – after all, no explosive fuels or fertilizers were loaded on this ship. Or maybe there was not only grain, but also deadly ‘toys’ for the Armed Forces of Ukraine…” hinted a pro-Telegram account. Moscow.
The explosion occurred in the area where ships with grain are loaded into elevators controlled by the Turkish Grain Council.
Except that neither the Turkish authorities nor the media had verified the presence of military equipment at the site of the explosion.
The governor of Kocaeli, where the port is located, announced: “The first assessments show that an explosion occurred due to the compression of wheat dust during the transfer of wheat from a ship to the silo… But we are investigating all the reasons possible”.
Turkish Minister of Agriculture and Forestry Ibrahim Yumaklı also commented on the incident, stating: “At the moment, we assess that the explosion occurred due to technical consequences caused by the compression of the dust (…) The prosecution and other units are carrying out the necessary investigations. When everything is done, we will share the results with the public.”
This chemical reaction is nothing out of the ordinary. According to the United States Occupational Safety and Health Administration: “Any combustible material can burn rapidly when in a finely divided form. If such dust is suspended in the air in the proper concentration, under certain conditions, it can become explosive. As for example sugar and grain”.
In the pages of the Turkish newspaper Hurriyet, a chemical engineer explains this phenomenon in more detail: “When wheat is transported from the silo to the ship, it is compressed. However, any organic substance is highly flammable and becomes explosive when turned into dust.” “.
That means that if the dust is “in suspension, in a closed place, such as a container or a silo, and it finds a source of ignition, in particular a spark of mechanical origin”, that is enough to cause a large explosion.
Similar incidents due to cereal dust have already been documented, such as one that occurred in 1998 in Kansas, USA.
Several explosions occurred in what is considered the largest grain elevator in the world, killing seven people.
In Europe, the last major grain dust explosion took place in Blaye, France in 1997, killing 11 people.
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