killed in Danish fireworks factory explosion
"It looks like a moon landscape, this looks worse than the
many war zones I have seen."
Danish Defense Minister Soeren Gade
November 5, 2004
Copenhagen — A massive blaze at a fireworks
factory in western Denmark, left a 33-year-old firefighter dead
and destroyed at least 20 homes.
Hundreds of firefighters fought the
huge blaze at the N.P. Johnsens fireworks factory in western Denmark,
125 miles from the Danish capital.
The blaze was believed to have started
when two containers of fireworks were being loaded onto a truck,
police said. It quickly spread to a nearby building and led to a
chain reaction of explosions. It was unclear what caused the containers
One of the explosions was the equivalent
of a magnitude-2 earthquake, according to the Geological Survey
of Denmark and Greenland.
"It looks like a moon landscape,
this looks worse than the many war zones I have seen," said
Danish Defense Minister Soeren Gade during a visit to the site.
The blackened landscape was littered
with debris, gutted cars and damaged houses.
As many as 350 buildings, including
homes and businesses, were damaged. Over 2,000 nearby residents
were evacuated by authorities as the fire raged. Police estimated
that it might take several days before residents will be allowed
to return to their homes.
In addition to the firefighter that
was killed, 17 people, including firemen, rescue workers and police
officers were treated for minor burns and smoke inhalation, authorities
The plant has a license to store 330
tons of fireworks, but police said that as much as 2,200 tons were
Firefighters, police investigators
and army explosives experts continue to survey the area. The cause
of the fire has not been determined, authorities said.