Explosion at Polish gunpowder factory kills workers | Europe| News and current affairs from around the continent | DW | 17.05.2017
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Explosion at Polish gunpowder factory kills workers

An explosives factory that was founded in 19th century Prussia has exploded for the fourth time in its recorded history. Two people have died in the latest accident.

Two people were killed and 15 people were injured in an explosion at a Polish gunpowder factory on Wednesday.

The 10 a.m. blast shattered windows in nearby houses and a huge white plume of smoke was visible more than 12 kilometers (7 miles) away. Unconfirmed videos posted on social media showed the white plume.

The explosion triggered the collapse of a building at the factory in the town of Makolno, in the country's south.

Rescue crews used sniffer dogs to search for more victims in the rubble and army explosives experts were called to assess the possibility of more explosions.

Four people were hospitalized with burns. Police and prosecutors were investigating the cause of the blast.

Local media posted images of the aftermath of the explosion on Twitter.

The factory is the oldest still-functioning gunpowder factory in the wold, Polish daily "Gazeta Wyborcza" reported.

It was reportedly founded in 19th-century Prussia to produce ammunition and fuses for miltary and hunting use. 

In 1878 two buildings were destroyed in the factory's first recorded explosion, the paper reported. Its biggest accident happened in 1904 when eight people were killed in an explosion. In 1960 another explosion killed one worker.

aw/rc (AP, AFP)

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