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Explosions in fireworks factory kill 4 in Italy
Published : 21 Nov 2019, 00:21
At least four people -- including the wife of the factory's owner -- died on Wednesday after explosions at the Barcelona Pozzo di Gotto fireworks company, Italian media reported.
According to online reports by La Repubblic and TGCOM24, at least one other person is missing and three others are seriously injured, with two of them in critical condition.
Among the casualties was 71-year-old Venera Mazzeo, the wife of the factory owner Vito Costa. Mazzeo reportedly died on the scene after being consumed by the blaze.
Antonio Costa, the owner's son, was seriously injured and was transported to a hospital in the regional capital of Palermo for treatment.
Less seriously injured persons were transferred to the nearby Milazzo Hospital to be treated for burns and other injuries. Many were transported by local residents who reached the scene before ambulances could arrive, reports said.
The factory, located near the northeastern tip of the southern Italian island of Sicily, near the city of Messina, has been in operation for more than a decade without incident.
Police reports showed that two separate explosions took place, with the first explosion likely causing the second one. Media reports said that police have speculated that sparks from a welding project reached some of the explosive material stored in the factory and was likely the cause of the initial explosion.
Reports also indicated that fire crews were able to subdue the blaze, which consumed buildings on the factory property and threatened adjacent structures.
Reports quoted a local resident who compared the blast to the feeling of an earthquake.