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Netherlands under the shock

20 persons found the death in the explosion of a store of fireworks
Updated on Sunday , May 14, 2000

Still under the shock, the survivors of Enschede in the east of Netherlands where 20 persons found the death in the explosion of a store of fireworks on Saturday, bandage their wounds after the drama that they tell to have lived as a " air emergency landing " or a "bombardment"
rescuers put an end to their searches, "If there are people in there, they died maintaining", declared to a responsible for the police
A big part of the victims are persons who had collected in the nearby streets, being unaware of the risks of explosion engendered by the initial fire. The investigators occupy henceforth the ground to try to find indications explaining the origin of the gigantic explosion which occurred on Saturday at midday, blowing houses and setting fire to vehicles in the district. "Their work is difficult. There are places where heat is so intense as they can not there venture", explained the mayor - assistant of the city, Rinus Althof
The queen Beatrix and the Prime Minister Wim Kok went(surrendered) on the scene. One was able to see the ruler of Netherlands refreshing a policeman at the edge of tears
The police clarified that, on the 20 deaths comptablisés, seven corpses remained to get back. On Sunday, 62 wounded persons were always hospitalized, eleven of which in unity of intensive care
About 2 000 persons were also evacuated with the stricken district. Four hundred of them crossed(spent) the night in a gym reconverted to temporary refuge
Martijn Wiodboer, spokesman of the city, explained that the fire had set outside of a store of the company(society) of fireworks S.E Fireworks and that it had propagated in the zone of stocking which contained about 100 tons of fireworks


According to testimonies collected by the German television ARD, explosion was so strong as concrete and glass fragments flew from several kilometres around. The ravaged, almost shaved district, extends over 500 square meters. Authorities refuse at the moment to pronounce on a possible link between the disaster and of recent fires to Enschede whom authorities suspect of being of criminal origin
The State Secretary of the Dutch Home Office, Vries's Gijsberg, declared to the German television that he was still too much early to determine the causes of the disaster. Police authorities buckled(curled) the zone of the disaster in a beam(shelf) of 700 metres. The Prime Minister Wim Kok pronounced for "a detailed and independent inquiry" to make all the light on this tragic event
According to the television, the inhabitants of Enschede wonder how authorities were able to authorize the preservation of a deposit(warehouse) of fireworks in full residential area
A Dutch prosecutor, Roelof Manscoc, declared that the store had been inspected only some months ago and that it seemed to work according to the licence, brought back(reported) the German television


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Steven Krauwer, (steven.krauwer@let.uu.nl)
Utrecht University, Utrecht Institute of Linguistics OTS
Trans 10, 3512 JK Utrecht, The Netherlands
tel +31 30 253 6050; fax +31 30 253 6000
[last change: 22-08-2000]