One arrested in relation to Tehran Grand Bazaar blast
Tehran, Iran, March 17
By Mehdi Sepahvand - Trend:
One suspect has been arrested in relation to a blast in Tehran's Grand Bazaar that injured scores of people, according to Iranian Chief of Police Hossein Ashtari.
An explosion rocked the Iranian capital city's traditional business center Wednesday afternoon when people were swarming the bazaar for New Year shopping.
The cause of the blast was identified as chemical reaction of explosives stored somewhere in the location, meant to be used in traditional end-of-the-year fireworks, Ashtari told the state TV IRIB March 16.
Called Charshanbeh-Souri, the fireworks is a Zoroastrian rite held on the last Wednesday of the Iranian year. The tradition has turned into a major health and security issue in recent years as, instead of setting up fires, people are increasingly using modern products ranging from small firecrackers to hand-thrown explosives in public areas.
The explosion sent 39 people to hospitals. Two of them are in critical conditions. The location of the explosion is Iran's oldest market for timepieces, dating back over a century.
This year's Charshanbeh-Souri casualties were 40 percent lower than last year's, he pointed out.