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Two Germans killed in Vietnam fireworks blast

Last Updated: Thursday, October 7, 2010 - 23:28

Hanoi: Two Germans were among four people
killed when fireworks being prepared for Hanoi`s millennium
celebrations exploded, the foreign ministry in Berlin said
on Thursday.

The two men, who were not named, were in their 50s and
belonged to a group of 15 Germans working for a Singaporean
company, a spokesman for the ministry in Berlin said. A third
German was injured.

Singapore`s foreign ministry said one of the dead may
have come from the city-state, while official Vietnamese
sources identified the other fatality as a native of Vietnam.

The yesterday`s blast in two containers of
fireworks occurred outside Hanoi`s My Dinh Stadium where
Hanoi`s anniversary celebrations are set to take place.
The government said a Hanoi company, the International
Commercial Investment and Services Company (Interserco) had
imported the fireworks for the celebration.

Local media showed pictures of a thick cloud of smoke
after the blast, which sent large chunks of metal flying and
shattered windows at least 200 metres away.

Reasons for the blast "remain unknown," said an
Interserco employee, asking to remain unidentified.

"We are waiting for a final conclusion by the

The government has blamed the blast and fire on
"carelessness during the process of transport".

Despite yesterday`s tragedy, local media reported that
a rehearsal took place that night at the stadium ahead of
Sunday`s grand finale.

The show, featuring lasers and thousands of
performers, depicts Vietnamese history and will cap 10 days of
exhibitions, cultural performances and other events for
Hanoi`s 1,000th birthday.

"The event will finish with a magnificent display of
fireworks in several places around Hanoi," the website of
Voice of Vietnam radio reported.


First Published: Thursday, October 7, 2010 - 23:28

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