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The BBC's Geraldine Coughlan in The Hague
"It was both a factory and a warehouse"
 real 28k

Saturday, 13 May, 2000, 17:41 GMT 18:41 UK
Dutch fireworks disaster

The massive black cloud was visible for miles
Twenty people are believed killed after a huge explosion in a Dutch fireworks factory.

The mayor of Enschede told RTL-5 television that 10 firemen were missing as a result of the explosion. It is not yet clear if this was in addition to the confirmed dead.



Ambulances from neighbouring Germany attended

A statement issued by the municipality said the explosion was the result of a fire that broke out at the fireworks warehouse at about 1300GMT.

All operational police, fire and ambulance services were alerted and are on the scene, the statement said.

The blast caused widespread damage and about 100 people are thought to have been injured.

Ambulance and fire crews from nearby Dutch cities, as well as Rheine across the border in Germany, were assisting in the transport of the wounded.

Dutch television said a 500 square meter area around the warehouse was destroyed by the blast and a thick plume of smoke was visible miles away.

Winds were also threatening to spread the fire to a large supermarket.

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