Blast disrupts thousands

28th September 2001 at 01:00
FRANCE: The education of thousands of pupils in Toulouse was severely disrupted this week after about 40 schools were destroyed or damaged by a huge explosion at a petrochemical plant, which killed at least 29 people, including a secondary pupil.

A further 2,442 were injured in the blast, which happened last Friday. Inquiries indicated it was caused by an accident. The blast measured 3.4 on the Richter Scale and shattered windows over a radius of five kilometres, forcing the evacuation of 90 schools. About 20,000 pupils were reported to be without schools to go to last Monday. Six schools were destroyed and 34 need extensive rebuilding. The boy who died was in the playground of lycee Gallieni, where dozens were hit by flying glass.

Jane Marshall

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