[QODLink]
Asia-Pacific

Many killed in Vietnam fireworks explosion

Incident leaves at least 21 dead and injures scores, prompting evacuation of about 2,000 people from the nearby area.

Last Modified: 12 Oct 2013 14:56
Email Article
Print Article
Share article
Send Feedback
Residents in Thanh Ba district, where the complex is located, said they felt the ground shake [AFP]

An explosion at Vietnam's military-run fireworks factory has killed at least 21 people in the country's north.

The incident also left at least 98 people injured, prompting the evacuation of about 2,000 people living near the area, a military rescue official told the AFP news agency on condition of anonymity as he was not authorised to speak to the media.

Residents in Thanh Ba district, where the complex is located, said they felt the ground shake during the powerful repeated explosions.

"After the first explosion, my house was shaking and the door smashed open," Nguyen Nhu Quynh, a witness, told the online newspaper VNExpress.

A local police officer told the Associated Press news agency that the explosion could be heard 10km away and it levelled some houses and shattered glass windows in others. He spoke anonymously because he was not authorised to speak to the media.

"The fire has now been brought under control," a police official in Phu Tho province told AFP, adding that an investigation into the cause of the accident had been opened.

The factory is the only facility in Vietnam that produces fireworks to be used for Lunar New Year festivals and other major public events.

The unit employs some 300 workers, mostly women, according VNExpress.

Major-General Le Quang Dai told the paper that only several dozens of the employees were working at the time of the explosion, because it was Saturday.

Authorities had tried to isolate the explosion to prevent it from two explosives warehouses nearby, he said.

Loudspeakers urged people within 15 kilometres of the military facility to leave the area.

265

Source:
Agencies
Email Article
Print Article
Share article
Send Feedback
Topics in this article
People
Country
Organisation
Featured on Al Jazeera
The author argues that in the new economy, it's people, not skills or majors, that have lost value.
Colleagues of detained Al Jazeera journalists press demands for their release, 100 days after their arrest in Egypt.
Mehdi Hasan discusses online freedoms and the potential of the web with Wikipedia founder Jimmy Wales.
A tight race seems likely as 814 million voters elect leaders in world's largest democracy next week.
Featured
Deadly attacks on anti-mining activists in the Philippines part of a global trend, according to new report.
Activists say 'Honor Diaries' documentary exploits gender-based violence to further an anti-Islamic agenda.
As Syria's civil war escalates along the Turkish border, many in Turkey are questioning the country's involvement.
Treatment for autism in the region has progressed, but lack of awareness and support services remains a challenge.
The past isn't far away for a people exiled from Crimea by Russia and the decades it took to get home.
join our mailing list