With the major fire after a series of heavy
explosions in the Danish fireworks factory "N.P. Johnsen"
one firefighter was killed. The firefighter (33) was found
dead on the scene, having been knocked unconscious by a
blast and then overcome by smoke inhalation. 17 people were
reported injured (including six firemen - they suffered
burns, including one who was in serious condition -, rescue
workers and police officers). The injuries reported included
firefighters suffering from asphyxiation, people injured
by broken glass and other debris, or who were knocked to
the ground by the massive shockwave caused by exploding
fireworks. Overnight, about 60 people were under medical
observation after complaining about respiratory problems.
After the detonations a large smoke cloud hung over the
factory. Shortly before 6 p.m. (1700GMT), two more powerful
blasts rocked the burning factory buildings and a nearby
warehouse, shattering windows in downtown Kolding, some
3 kilometers (1.9 miles) away. One of the explosions was
the equivalent of a magnitude-2 earthquake, according to
the Geological Survey of Denmark and Greenland.
The factory and many nearby buildings were severely damaged
by the fire and exploding fireworks. Some 20 houses were
feared to have burned. Some 350 buildings, including private
homes and small businesses, were damaged, many of them now
uninhabitable due to fire damage, smoke damage and shock
waves from series of explosions.
By 9 p.m. (2000GMT), the fire was still out of control
and burning in several factory buildings. Because of fears
of more explosions and igniting fireworks, some 700 homes,
or approximately 2,000 people, within a kilometre (more
than a half-mile) of the fireworks factory were - to set
up a security perimeter – evacuated to nearby schools
and elder care centers. It might take days before people
The blaze was thought to have started Wednesday when two
containers of fireworks were being loaded onto a truck,
police said. It quickly spread to a nearby building and
led to a chain reaction of explosions. What caused the containers
to combust remains unknown.