The Malta Independent 28 January 2023, Saturday
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Updated (5): Man dies in Kirkop fireworks factory explosion; three others hurt

Saturday, 26 November 2022, 08:06 Last update: about 3 months ago

A man has died after an explosion took place at the fireworks factory in Kirkop on Saturday morning, the police said.

The St Joseph Musical Society, in a Facebook post, said that one of their members had died in the explosion, which took place at 7.10am in an area known as Misrah Hlantun.

The society named him as Leonard Camilleri, former licensee of the factory. The police said he was 64 years old.

 

Minister Julia Farrugia Portelli had earlier said in a Facebook post that a man has not been accounted for. She later expressed her condolences, as did many others. "We were hoping that nobody was injured... but the elderly man has been found dead," Farrugia Portelli wrote.

Ministers Owen Bonnici and Stefran Zrinzo Azzopardi were both seen at the explosion site on Saturday morning. 

The police also said that three other men were taken to hospital for treatment.

One of them, aged 45 of Kirkop, was inside the complex when the blast occurred. He made it out of the debris on his own.

The other two, aged 63 and 72, were farmers working in the vicinity who also needed treatment following the explosion as debris flew in their vicinity. There were also treated for shock.

The police later said that the 45-year-old and 63-year-old suffered minor injuries, while the third man was unhurt.

Police, medics and Civil Protection Department firefighters rushed to the site on Triq Ħal Far to respond to the incident.

Their work was rendered more difficult by the storm that hit Malta soon after the explosion. Small blasts on site also made it harder for the responders.

People living in the area reported hearing two separate blasts - a small one followed by a much larger one that left windows shaking. 

The explosion was heard from many localities in the south of Malta, but was also reportedly heard in other places further away from the blast.

Magistrate Claire Stafrace Zammit is leading an inquiry.

It is the second fireworks factory explosion that took place this year, after a blast in June at a factory on the outskirts of Mosta injured two men.

 

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