Explosion (illustrative)
Explosion (illustrative)Thinkstock

At least five people have been killed and at least two others were left seriously injured in an explosion at a movie set in Iran.

According to Iranian media reports, the explosion occurred as an explosive device being used as "special effects" in a film about the 1980-1988 Iran-Iraq War detonated in a car in the Sacred Defence Cinematic Town, approximately 35km (21 miles) south of the capital, Tehran.

According to Iran's ISNA news agency, a number of actors and production team members were among the dead, including  special effects head Javad Sharifi Rad, and managing director Ali Akbar Ranjbar.

According to one team member quoted by ISNA, international embargoes on the Islamic Republic meant that they were unable to important dummy explosives for use in the battle scene, and were forced to use real explosives instead.

"The explosives are of the kind used in war zones. We had no choice but to use this type of explosive as the import of such material used for movies is banned," said Abbass Shoghi.

The movie, "Merajiha", was being directed by Masoud Dehnamaki, and was due to premiere at the Fajr Film Festival in February.