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Argentine Bottling Plant Blasts Kill 7, Injure 36

January 8, 1987

BUENOS AIRES, Argentina (AP) _ A hydrogen leak ignited and started a series of explosions Wednesday that destroyed a gas bottling plant, killing seven people and wounding 36, police and company officials reported.

Those killed were six workers and a boy who was touring the plant, operated by Aga Inc. in the northern suburb of San Martin, provincial police chief Raul Medinilla said.

He said one of the 36 workers injured by the mid-afternoon blast lost a foot.

The government-run news agency Telam quoted plant foreman Ricardo Pallanta as saying: ″A leak of hydrogen set off a chain reaction. Tanks were launched into the air, and some landed 200 meters away. Others slammed into cars, 60 meters away and destroyed them.″

Pallanta said the explosions involved about 70 pressurized steel hydrogen and oxygen tanks of the type used in hospitals.

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