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
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
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.
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
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
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