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Explosion Injures 32 in Argentina

March 13, 2000

USHUAIA, Argentina, 13 (AP) _ A powerful explosion ripped through an industrial park in southern Argentina on Monday, injuring at least 32 people.

Firefighters said the blast occurred in a factory where explosives used in road construction were stored, sparking a fire that quickly spread to several nearby factories and set off a second explosion.

At least five people working in and around the factories were hospitalized with severe burns, said Mario Pombo, a spokesman with the city government of Ushuaia, the world’s southernmost city, 1,515 miles south of Buenos Aires.

Television images showed huge plumes of smoke billowing from the factory plants as firefighters worked to recover people from inside the buidings.

The powerful blasts reportedly lifted the roof off a nearby school and forced the evacuation of some 30 students, authorities said.

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