On 11 September 2020, a series of massive explosions that rocked Jordan’s second largest city was caused by mortar shells stored at an army munitions depot warping in an intense heat wave, the army reported.

The government had earlier blamed an electric short circuit for the dawn blasts, which lit the desert sky and could be seen in the capital Amman, 35 km (22 miles) to the southwest. Both it and the army command said there were no reports of injuries.

Security forces sealed off Zarqa and prevented traffic from leaving or entering. Journalists wanting to travel through to the blast site about 10 km (6 miles) to the east were prevented from doing so.