The Slovenia Times

One person dies, two injured in gunpowder factory blast

Site of the gunpowder factory blast. Photo: Vrhnika Civil Protection

One person has died and two have been seriously injured in an explosion that occurred just on midday on 17 February at a facility of fireworks manufacturer Hamex in Vrhnika, a town 20 kilometres south-west of Ljubljana.

The explosion, or rather a series of blasts, occurred in a production facility, while the ensuing fire spread to a nearby warehouse. Several dozen firefighters quickly managed to get the situation under control.

Boštjan Plahutnik from the University Medical Centre Ljubljana said that two men with 40-60% total body surface area burns had been brought from the scene of the accident. One of them is suspected of having sustained internal injuries as well.

One person died in the accident, unofficially an older employee. The two other injured men were also employees. Police said no other persons had been present at the fairly remote site.

Experts believe the accident was caused by exploding gunpowder with police saying other gunpowder and chemicals involved in the production of fireworks had been present on the site.

Hamex is a family-run business that manufactures and supplies various kinds of fireworks for professional use. It is connected to major manufacturers and exports most of its output.

The blast comes less than a year after the deadliest industrial accident in recent history, at chemical company Melamin in Kočevje, left seven workers dead and ten injured.


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