( dpa ) - At least 17 people were killed and 68 injured in an explosion at an unlicenced fireworks manufacturer in Istanbul on Thursday morning, the Anadolu news agency reported.
Istanbul Governor Muammer Guler said the blast was caused by fireworks.
Guler said that a fire had broken out on the fourth floor of the five-storey factory in an industrial zone of the suburb of Davutpasa and that a few minutes later a large explosion.
He said eight people who had gathered in a multi-storey car-park to watch the fire were killed in the explosion.
Rescue workers Thursday afternoon combed the wreckage of the partially-destroyed building with reports that three people were trapped beneath the debris.
Television footage showed the main building had partially collapsed and debris strewn over a large area. A number of cars parked nearby were destroyed and other buildings in the street were also badly damaged.
Fearing another explosion police evacuated the entire area near the site.