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Five reported dead and three injured in Italian fireworks factory explosion

21 November 2019

Five people have died and three others were seriously injured in two massive blasts at a fireworks factory in the town of Barcellona Pozzo di Gotto near Messina, Sicily, La Repubblica reported on November 20.

Representative image: Shutterstock
Representative image: Shutterstock

Police said the explosions killed two outside contractors who were carrying out welding work in the factory, the 71-year- old wife of the owner of the  family-run firm Costa and two others. The owner’s son had attempted to save his mother and was one of those taken to hospital with serious injuries.

A police spokesman said there were two explosions, possibly triggered by sparks from the welding equipment igniting explosive pyrotechnic dust.

The injured are being treated in the burns unit in Catania. The local prosecutor’s office opened an inquiry into the disaster.

Staff were preparing for New Year celebrations comprising traditional firework displays across the south of Italy. Preparations for such displays, a tradition dating back to the 1500s, annually see a number of fatal incidents.

The factory had suffered another explosion around 20 years ago, according to La Repubblica, which said there were no deaths in that incident.

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