Tuesday, January 6, 2009

Blast at Albania munitions disposal plant kills 1

The Associated Press

TIRANA, Albania: An explosion at an Albanian ammunition disposal plant killed one worker Tuesday after employees went outdoors to build a fire to keep themselves warm, the Defense Ministry said. The ministry said the blast occurred in Polican, 60 miles (100 kilometers) south of the capital, Tirana. The cause of the blast remained under investigation, but the ministry said the use of munitions packaging as fuel for the fire may have set off an ignition device that contained gunpowder.

Many workplaces in Albania are unheated, and the incident appeared to be unrelated to the Russia-Ukraine gas dispute. There have been subfreezing temperatures in Albania over the past several days. The victim was identified as worker Suzana Kapxhiu, 45, who died of head injuries. Five other workers at the plant were unharmed.
Today in Europe

The plant is one of the Albanian army's factories used to dispose of ammunition kept in storage across the Balkan country since the communist regime fell in 1990.
Last year, 26 people died and around 300 others were injured from a huge blast at a private disposal factory near Tirana.

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