Fireworks Factory Blast in Brazil Kills 19, Hurts 60

<i> From Associated Press</i>

An explosion destroyed an illegal fireworks factory in northeastern Brazil on Friday, killing 19 people and injuring 60, police said.

“There were a lot of people, many of them women, working in the building when the explosion happened,” police officer Paulo Raimundo de Souza said by telephone. “It seems like they had been working flat-out because there is a big demand for fireworks at this time of year with New Year’s Eve coming up shortly.”

The explosion happened at 11:30 a.m. on the outskirts of Santo Antonio de Jesus, about 725 miles northeast of Rio, he said.


Nine of the dead were children who had been working in the factory, TV Globo reported.

The cause of the explosion was unclear, but it appeared to have been an accident, De Souza said. It happened in a house that was being used as a factory.

The blast also badly damaged three nearby houses, he said.

Firefighters continued to search for people in the burned remains of the factory, De Souza said. The injured were being treated at various hospitals in the region.

The town, which is in the state of Bahia, has a population of 80,000.