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Enschede fireworks disaster

From Academic Kids

The Enschede fireworks disaster was caused by a fire which broke out in the S.E Fireworks depot on May 13, 2000 in the eastern Dutch town of Enschede. The fire led to an enormous explosion that left 22 people dead and thousands of families homeless. The extent of the damage was estimated at half a billion euros.

The cause of the fire could not be determined. One possibility was arson, but an electrical short circuit could not be ruled out.

The fire started in the work area of the central warehouse where some 900 kg of fireworks were stored. The fire extended to two full containers that had been placed illegally outside of the building. Since the fire brigade could not contain the fire initially, it was able to spread to a third container, which exploded shortly afterwards. A chain reaction of explosions led eventually to the destruction of the firework bunker. As a result the surrounding residential area was virtually destroyed.

Interestingly, Dutch voting in the Eurovision Song Contest was suspended as a result. This was partly to free up phone lines for the emergency services, and partly as a mark of respect.

External Links

Video footage of Enschede explosion (http://www.ebaumsworld.com/fireworkfactory.html)nl:vuurwerkramp Enschede

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