SYSTRAN Logo     This page was translated by SYSTRAN      (comments, feedback ...)

Accueil Le Monde

Format pour impression

Netherlands under the shock

20 people found death in the explosion of a warehouse of fireworks

Updated Sunday May 14 2000

Still under the shock, rescapés of Enschede in the east of the Netherlands where 20 people found death in the explosion of a warehouse of fireworks Saturday, their wounds bandage after the drama which they say to have lived like a " air crash " or a " bombardment ".
The rescuers put a term at their search, " If there remain people in it, they died now ", declared with a person in charge of the font.
Most of the victims are people who had gathered in the close streets, being unaware of the risks of explosion generated by the initial fire. The investigators occupy from now on the ground to try to find indices explaining the origin of the gigantic explosion which occurred Saturday in middle of afternoon, blowing the houses and putting fire at the vehicles in the district " Their work is difficult. There are places where heat is so intense that they cannot venture there ", explained the mayor-assistant of the city, Rinus Althof.
The Beatrix queen and the Prime Minister Wim Kok went on the spot. One could see the sovereign one of the Netherlands comforting a police officer at the edge of the tears.
The font specified that, on the 20 dead ones comptablized, seven corpses remained to be recovered. Sunday, 62 wounded was always hospitalized, including eleven in unit of intensive care.
Some 2 000 people were also evacuated district disaster victim. Four hundreds of them spent the night in a gymnasium reconverted in provisional refuge.
Martijn Wiodboer, spokesman of the city, explained why fire had taken outside a warehouse of the company of fireworks S.e Fireworks and that it had been propagated with the storage storage area which contained some 100 tons of fireworks.


According to testimonys' collected by German television ARD, the explosion was so strong that pieces of glass and concrete flew to several kilometers to the round. The devastated district, almost shaven, extends on 500 meters carrés.Les authorities refuse for the moment to come to a conclusion about a possible link between the catastrophe and of recent fires with Enschede which the authorities suspect of being of criminal origin.
The Secretary of State to the Dutch ministry of the Interior, Gijsberg de Vries, declared with German television that it was still too early to determine the causes of the catastrophe. The police authorities looped the zone of the disaster in a radius of 700 meters. The Prime Minister Wim Kok decided for " a thorough and independent investigation " in order to make all the light into this tragedy event.
According to television, the inhabitants of Enschede wonder how the authorities could authorize the maintenance of a deposit of fireworks in full residential district.
A Dutch prosecutor, Roelof Manscoc, declared that the warehouse had been inspected only a few months ago and that it seemed to function in accordance with the licence, brought back German television.

Reuters and AFP

Reproduction rights reserved and of diffusion; © World 2000
Strictly personal use. The user of the site admits having taken knowledge of the licence of rights of user, to accept and respect the provisions of them of them.
Policy of confidentiality of the site.