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Iran explosion: Blast seen near military base southeast of Tehran

Defence ministry says blast at a gas storage facility in a 'public area' of Parchin was caused by a tank leak
Videos and pictures posted on social media showed an explosion with a bright orange flash, followed by a large plume of smoke (Twitter)

An explosion at an Iranian gas storage facility close to a sensitive military site southwest of the capital Tehran was caused by a tank leak, a defence ministry spokesman told state TV on Friday.

The incident took place in the "public area" of Parchin, said the spokesman, Davoud Abdi, as opposed to the military site, where Western security services believe Tehran carried out tests relevant to nuclear bomb detonations more than a decade ago. Iran has denied this.

Abdi said the fire was brought under control and there were no casualties because the incident happened in a hilly non-residential area, which is located about 30km southeast of the capital.

Videos and pictures posted on social media at around 1230am local time on Friday (2000 GMT on Thursday), that were picked up by local news outlets, showed an explosion with a bright orange flash, followed by a large plume of smoke.

The Islamic Republic of Iran Broadcasting (IRIB) news agency also attributed the blast to an explosion at a natural gas storage in Parchin.

According to several reports in state and semi-official media - citing both Abdi and the public relations manager of Tehran emergency services, Mir Shahabuddin Ghavami - no emergency services or ambulances were requested in the area following the blast.