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Two people seriously injured in distillery blast

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Dobrovice, Central Bohemia, Sept 22 (CTK) – Fourteen people were injured in Tuesday’s explosion in a part of the production capacity of a distillery situated in the Dobrovice complex where there is also a sugar mill, two of them seriously, Petra Effenbergerova, has told CTK.

Effenbergova, spokeswoman for the regional rescue service, said the two seriously injured people were helicoptered to hospitals in Prague and Liberec, north Bohemia.

Petr Svoboda, spokesman for the regional firefighters, said around 50 men are on the scene of the accident. He said, however, no fire has erupted and there is no danger of any further explosion.

The damage will probably run into millions of crowns.

Dobrovice mayor Tomas Sedlacek said the explosion occurred during maintenance works and that the firefighters control the situation.

He said this has been the first such accident in the history of the distillery. The sugar mill has operated in Dobrovice since 1831, the distillery since 2004.

Some 130 people were evacuated from the whole complex. Neither the sugar mill nor the distillery were operating at the time of the explosion because of the maintenance works.

Police spokeswoman Marketa Johnova said all parts of the integrated rescue system immediately left for the scene of the accident after the blast was reported before 8:00.

“We are now investigating the cause of the explosion,” Johnova said.

Four people suffered eye injuries, scratches and contusions and another four people were injured by nitric acid. All of them have been taken to hospital. Four women who were probably hit by a pressure wave received light injuries, Effenbergerova said.

The most tragic explosion in an industrial facility probably took place in the Chemical Works in Zaluzi near Most (now Unipetrol), north Bohemia, in July 1974. It claimed 17 lives and almost 80 people were injured.

The most tragic explosion in the history of the Czech Republic, established in 1993, was that in the Explosia firm in Pardubice, east Bohemia, in April 2011, that claimed four lives.

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