Fire­works for Gudja sec­ondary feast ex­plode

Malta Independent - - FRONT PAGE -

A pow­er­ful fire­works ex­plo­sion rocked Gudja yes­ter­day af­ter­noon but no one was hurt.

The ex­plo­sion took place at 4.20pm.

It is un­der­stood that the ex­plo­sion took place as fire­works were be­ing pre­pared to be let off for the feast of the Madonna tac-Cin­tura.

This is the sec­ondary feast of Gudja, as the main feast is that of the As­cen­sion of Our Lady, cel­e­brated on 15 Au­gust.

It is the sec­ond ma­jor ac­ci­dent to hit the area in a week. Last Mon­day, a plane car­ry­ing five French­man ex­ploded soon after take-off, killing all five on board.

There are no re­ports of in­juries, the po­lice told The Malta In­de­pen­dent; four peo­ple are be­lieved to have been in the area at the time of the ex­plo­sion.

The po­lice said that the nec­es­sary per­mits for the let­ting off of fire­works had been is­sued.

In a state­ment, the po­lice said that the fire­works that ex­ploded were stored in a con­tainer.

Hours after the ex­plo­sion peo­ple who were on site were still in the vicin­ity with mem­bers of their fam­i­lies. They re­fused to speak to the me­dia.

Read­ers who con­tacted The Malta In­de­pen­dent said that the blast broke win­dows of peo­ple liv­ing in the clos­est ar­eas.

The ex­plo­sion was heard from as far away as Md­ina while a plume of black smoke was vis­i­ble from many lo­cal­i­ties in the vicin­ity.

The po­lice, the Civil Pro­tec­tion De­part­ment and the Armed Forces were on site to as­sess the dam­age.

Health Min­is­ter Chris Fearne tweeted that pre­lim­i­nary in­di­ca­tions show that none of the peo­ple on site were in­jured. A helpline has been set up.

Mr Fearne as well as Home Af­fairs Min­is­ter Carmelo Abela were on site for a time. Mr Abela would not be drawn into giv­ing com­ments to The Malta In­de­pen­dent.

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