Netherlands under the shock
20 people found death in the explosion of a warehouse of fireworks
Updated Sunday May 14, 2000
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 research, " If there remain people in it, they died now ", declared with a person in charge for the police force.
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. 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 police force 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 which it had
been propagated with the storage section which contained some 100 tons of
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 square
meters. The authorities refuse for the moment to come to a conclusion about
a possible bond between the catastrophe and of recent fires with Enschede
which the authorities suspect of being of criminal origin.
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 buckled the zone of the disaster
in a radius of 700 meters. The Prime Minister Wim Kok decided for " one
thorough and independent investigation "in order to make all the light on 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
Un procureur néerlandais, Roelof Manscoc, a déclaré que l'entrepôt avait été
inspecté il y a seulement quelques mois et qu'il semblait fonctionner conformément au
permis, a rapporté la télévision allemande.
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