1 dead in fireworks blast in Spain

Madrid, May 24 (IANS) One person was killed and 27 others were injured on Wednesday in an explosion of fireworks materials at a home in northern Spain, the Vice President of the Galicia region said.

Alfonso Rueda told reporters at the scene that the police bomb squad is verifying that there is no further danger from additional explosives so that rescue services can begin removing the wreckage and determining if there are any other victims.

“At this time, we cannot confirm more than one victim. We don’t know if there are more,” Efe quoted him as saying. He added that nobody has been reported as missing in the wake of the blast, which leveled as many as 10 homes.

Several dozen houses were damaged to varying degrees within a radius of 1 km of the blast site.

Both Rueda and Tui Mayor Carlos Vazquez Padin said that they did not know that the house where the blast occurred was being used to store pyrotechnic materials.

In addition to rescue and debris removal tasks, emergency personnel are working to provide lodging for the dozens of people whose homes were completely destroyed or damaged to the extent that they are uninhabitable.

The explosion occurred at about 4:25 p.m., after which several witnesses alerted emergency services that they had heard a huge boom and saw a column of smoke in Paramos parish, some 10 minutes from downtown Tui.

Initially, it was thought that the blast had occurred at a fireworks company, but eventually it was determined to have taken place at a house where pyrotechnic materials were being stored without the knowledge of the authorities or neighbours.

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