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Employee missing after explosion rocks Swiss factory

A fire also destroyed an open-air depot in Gamsen last August Keystone Archive

A 46-year-old man has been reported missing after a dawn explosion on Thursday rocked an explosives factory in canton Valais. Around 50 firemen were called to the scene to deal with the ensuing blaze.

This content was published on October 4, 2001 - 23:27

According to local police, a fire which broke out on the factory perimeter at about 0515 led to the explosion of a water tank containing the solvent product acetone.

The area around the factory was sealed off as police conducted preliminary investigations but local authorities said the situation was under control and the local population was in no danger.

The factory, located in the town of Gamsen in Haut Valais, has been in operation since 1894 and employs an 80-strong workforce.

One person died in a similar explosion at the site 17 years ago.

swissinfo with agencies

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