Explosion at Local Firework Factory

Three people have been seriously injured as a result of an explosion this morning  at the Vélez Benaudalla-based firework factory, Pirotecnia Esteban Martín de Motril.

At 11.30h the explosion ripped through the heavily protected storage facility in la Gorgoracha as workers were loading firework casings. First reports spoke of two killed, which later became three seriously injured; two women and a man, all with serious burns.

The injured were immediately rushed to the burns unit of Granada’s main hospital (Clínico). All surrounding emergency services rushed to the scene of the accident, as well as the Policía Judicial de la Guardia Civil, whose task it is to discover the cause of the explosion.

According to the EFE national news agency, the Vice-Chairman of the Provincial Council, who is also the Mayor of Motril, Luisa García Chamorro, has criticised the 2-hour delay for the arrival of rescue helicopters; the reason for which was none of these aircraft were in Granada at the time.

The owner of the firework company, Esteban Martín, explained that the explosion occurred in the bunker of the factory as workers were working with firework casings and that two of those injured were very experienced hands.

It was on the 16th of August, 2005 that a similar explosion occurred in storage facilities at Junto a la Frabriquilla, belonging o the same company; fortunately on that occasion there were no injuries.

Lastly, both explosions took place in August, which is a time of maximum activity at the firework factory, as they are preparing the huge quantity for fireworks for the local firework displays.

Editorial Comment: How the Mayor of Motril, whose own party in Madrid is hacking back social services across the board can be surprised at the delay of the emergency helicopters is a mystery, until you remember that these particular ones belong to the Regional Government in Sevilla; one of the few socialist regional governments left in Spain. The First Minister of the Junta has already complained bitterly that Madrid is leaving him no option other than to close down hospitals or face intervention by Madrid.

Stop Press: two of the badly burned victims were a married couple from Valencia. The husband died of his injuries this afternoon. His wife remains in a very serious conditions.

(News: Velez Benaudalla/Motril, Costa Tropical, Granada, Andalucia)

(Photo: infocostatropical/Pedro Feixas)

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