Terrified Brits fled for their lives as a series of explosions rocked an army ammunition depot in Cyprus, reportedly injuring 12 people.

Tourists filmed huge fireballs rising from the Turkish military base yesterday, with early reports suggesting the blasts were caused by a blaze at the site.

Witnesses described hearing deafening bangs and seeing falling shrapnel all around them as they fled the village of Catalkoy in Turkish-controlled Northern Cyprus.

The blasts shattered windows at the nearby Acapulco Hotel, where the majority of the injured were guests.

British guest and former London firefighter Stephen Cross, 69, told The Sun : "We heard a bang. We've never heard a bang like it.

"I thought it was thunder and looked out the window – next thing you know, there was another bang and the windows shook and knocked me back a bit.

"When we were outside the shrapnel was going everywhere – one of the pieces on the ground was about three foot long. It would have taken your head off if it had hit you."

Mr Cross told the newspaper that he feared the blasts could have been an attack.

Turkish Cypriot Foreign Minister Kudret Ozersay wrote on Facebook that the area had been sealed off as explosions continued at the military zone.

The Turkish Defence Ministry said the fire had been brought under control and that the cause of the initial blast, around 1.30am local time (10.30pm GMT), was not immediately clear.

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