Turkish power plant evacuated as fire closes in
A Turkish thermal power plant on the Aegean Sea was being evacuated on Wednesday as a deadly wildfire that has raged across the country for the past week reached its edge.
An AFP team saw firefighters, police cars and locals fleeing the scene as powerful flames lapped at the edges of the power station near the Aegean town of Milas.
Local officials had earlier said that hydrogen tanks used to cool the station had been emptied and filled with water as a precaution.
The plant operates using coal and fuel oil, officials told AFP.
Images posted by Milas mayor Muhammet Tokat showed a furious blaze raging at the gates of the plant.
“The plant is now being completely emptied,” Tokat tweeted.
The fire reached the plant in the second week of historic wildfires that have killed eight people and destroyed huge swathes of pristine forest across Turkey’s Aegean and Mediterranean coasts.
Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan was giving a live television interview when the plant’s evacuation began.
“The thermal power plant is facing the threat of burning down,” Erdogan said. “There has been a tremendous wind. Otherwise, it would have been easier to contain.”
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