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Nine killed in Italian fireworks factory explosion

27 July 2015

Reports from Italian media have confirmed that the death toll from the series of explosions at a fireworks factory near the southern city of Bari have reached nine, with a further three injured. The ANSA news agency said the explosion on July 24 completely destroyed the Bruscella factory in Modugno, with the subsequent fire threatening forests nearby.

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Seven people were killed on the spot and several others injured in the first explosions at the plant, with two more succumbing to their injuries later, the emergency services said. Some 14 were said to be in the factory at the time of the blasts.

The Bruscella factory was working at full capacity to supply fireworks for religious festivities held across the country over the summer. La Repubblica newspaper reported that a van exploded first, triggering a series of blasts within the factory that lasted around an hour.

The Bari prosecutor’s office has opened an involuntary homicide inquiry and Italian President Sergio Mattarella said everything would be done to ensure that the cause of the tragedy would be discovered “as soon as possible”.

Two Canadair water-bomber aircraft were deployed to prevent the fire triggered by the blasts from reaching a nearby forests.

Firework factory explosions are a relatively regular occurrence in Italy, costing several lives each year.

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