3 dead and 1 missing in Gharb Firework Factory Tragedy
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At least two powerful explosions were reported in Gozo this afternoon, just before 2.45pm – see video below.
The blasts, heard by local residents, produced a large mushroom cloud and came from the direction of one of the firework factories on the outskirts of Gharb
They were heard across the island and shook buildings in Victoria and the surrounding areas.
The emergency services were on their way to the area shortly afterwards, including ambulances and the fire and rescue services.
The explosions took place a short distance away from the fireworks factory that blew up in 2010 which lead to the tragic loss of 6 lives.
The photograph above is taken from the top of Fanal ta’ Gordan hill by George Mario Attard after the 2nd explosion.
Update 1: A third explosion took place at around 3.30pm, at a time when the rescue services were on site. Police have confirmed that the factory was known as Ta Marozz and is situated close to the San Dimitri Chapel.
There are reports that four vehicles were seen at the factory before the explosions. People at the scene have said that four people were thought to have been inside.
Police have appealed to the general public not to go near to the area of the explosion.
Update 2: Three men have been confirmed dead following the explosions earlier this afternoon. The search and rescue teams are still looking for a fourth person.
Update 3: Rescuers have suspended the search for the fourth person this evening, it will be resumed tomorrow morning. The four people have been named as Gorg Gatt, Mario Gauci, Peppi Cini and Brian Portelli.