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Boiler explosion in southeastern Turkey kills 4

Updated:
ANKARA, Turkey (AP) _ A boiler explosion Monday knocked down part of a five-story building housing military families in southeastern Turkey's largest city, killing at least four people and trapping about four others, authorities said.

Gen. Ilker Basbug said rescuers in Diyarbakir recovered four bodies so far and had pulled eight injured people from the wreckage, including at least two children.

``The search for the trapped will continue throughout the night,'' he said.

Sirens blaring, ambulances rushed to the scene as dozens of soldiers clawed through the wreckage for survivors. Rescue teams in bright orange uniforms used dogs.

Rescuers briefly heard at least two trapped people respond to their calls, according to NTV.

At least five apartments were affected by the explosion, the state-run Anatolia news agency reported.

The boiler exploded about 8:30 a.m. in the basement of the building in a heavily guarded military compound in Diyarbakir, the largest city in Turkey's Kurdish-dominated southeast, the governor's office said.

Police detained a man who carried out repairs on the boiler Sunday, Anatolia said. The detention was a routine procedure while authorities investigate the possibility of negligence, and no sabotage was suspected, it reported.

Military trucks ferried excavators to the site, while commandos and anti-terrorism police in armored vehicles guarded the perimeter of the housing compound. Troops also brought in generators for a floodlit search after nightfall.

Troops have battled separatist Kurdish rebels in the region for decades.

The guerrillas have used remote-controlled bombs to attack Turkish military and police, but the clashes were largely isolated to mountainous areas.

Although guerrillas belonging to the Kurdistan Workers Party, or PKK, declared a unilateral truce Oct. 1, Turkey vowed to fight until all rebels are killed or surrender. More than 37,000 people have died as a result of the fighting since 1984, when the rebels first took up arms against the state.
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