Deadly explosion hits Iranian film crew

Five killed as TNT intended for special effects goes off accidentally.

by Jennie Kermode

Explosives intended for special effects work went off accidentally yesterday, killing five members of an Iranian film crew. The incident occurred at the Sacred Defence Cinematic Town just south of Tehran, on the set of Merajiha, a film about the Iran-Iraq war.

Although most film crews use safer, more easily controlled explosives, the Merajiha crew explained that they had resorted to using TNT because the import of those alternatives is banned by the Iranian authorities. It appears that the explosives detonated next to special effects technician Mohammad Javad Sharifi's car, killing everyone inside. Sharifi was among the dead, as was set manager Ali Akbar Ranjbar. Other names have yet to be released. Several more people are understood to be seriously injured.

Most work on Merajiha had already been completed and it was expected to premiere at the Fajr Film Festival next month.

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