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German Blast Kills at Least One

November 12, 2002

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BERLIN (AP) _ An explosion at a munitions disposal plant in eastern Germany on Tuesday killed one employee, and three people missing in the blast were also feared dead, police said.

The body of a 26-year-old male employee was recovered. Rescue workers with sniffer dogs searched for the three missing, but Joerg Schoenbohm, the state’s top security official, said officials were losing hope of finding them alive.

It was unclear how many people were injured or what caused the explosion at the Spreewerk Luebben plant, 50 miles southeast of Berlin.

The plant employs about 70 people in an area of forests and swamps with little industry.

Under communism, Spreewerk made most of East Germany’s small-arms ammunition. The plant was converted for munitions destruction after German reunification in 1990, disposing of about a third of the former East German army’s cache.

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