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Guatemala Blast Kills at Least 13

December 4, 1999

GUATEMALA CITY (AP) _ An explosion shook a chemical warehouse in a major Guatemalan port on Friday, killing at least 13 and injuring 80.

Two tanks of chemicals exploded in the warehouse, which erupted into flames in a commercial district of the Atlantic port of Santo Tomas de Castilla, about 190 miles northeast of the capital, Guatemala City, rescue officials said.

At least 13 people were killed and 80 injured, according to the National Coordinator for Disaster Reduction. Authorities initially attributed the explosion to a collision between two gasoline trucks, and estimated the number of injured at more than 200.

The injured were transported to various hospitals with burns. An unknown number of people were evacuated from the area.

Rescue efforts were hampered by a loss of electricity in the area.

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