Fireworks, a company that stores fireworks articles, is located in the middle of
the working class housing estate of Mekkelholt in the northern Dutch city of
Enschede. On 13 May 2000, two explosions in a fireworks warehouse detonated on
estimated 100 tonnes of explosives. The blast was felt up to 30 kilometers away.
Within minutes the surrounding residential quarter was devasted. Some 400
apartments were reduced to cinders, another 1000 were damaged. The resulting
fires are also said to have caused the release of hazardous asbestos. After the
explosion 22 people (4 firefighters) were found dead, 947 were injured, many of
to media reports, the directors of the factory are suspected of producing highly
hazardous fireworks without the necessary authorisation and illegally storing
material on the premises. The operating permit related only to the storage and
assembly, not to the production of fireworks articles.
victims of the tragedy will receive DEM 6.6 million in immediate relief from the
National Disaster Fund of the Netherlands.
Re estimates that the explosion caused NLG 500 million in insured losses. This
sum comprises the cost of reconstructing the devasted buildings, medical
treatment for the injured and business interruptions at the Grolsch brewery.
It is the worst accident in Europe with off-site consequences for over 50 years!
|Size of the disaster area||40 ha|
|Number of inhabitants in most affected zone||4'163|
|Number of completely destroyed houses||293|
|Number of completely destroyed business and industrial buildings||± 50|
|Number of damaged houses outside mostly affected zone||1'500|
|Number of persons killed||22 (4 firefighters)|
|Number of persons injured||947|
|Number of homeless persons||250|
|Number of persons that had to be evacuated||± 10'000|
|Total material damage||1 billion guilders|
pictures: Firework blaze
massive explosion in a firework factory brought death and destruction to the
Dutch town of Enschede. 13.5.2000
Pictures of the Firework Disaster Enschede 13 May 2000
of the most recent images: 18. August 2000).
Dutch Fireworks Disaster
At least 20 people have been killed and about 300 injured in an explosion which destroyed a Dutch fireworks warehouse. 14.5.2000
scare after fireworks blaze
Dutch Government has warned that potentially harmful asbestos has been released
into the air by the fatal explosions on Saturday. 14.5.2000
into firework blast
authorities in the Dutch town of Enschede have promised a full independent
investigation into Saturday's explosion at a fireworks' warehouse which killed
at least 20 people. Forensic teams are searching the ruins for more bodies and
evidence of the causes of the fire. 15.5.2000
Search grim after Dutch fireworks blast (with Video: CNN's Patricia Kelly reports on the aftermath of the enormous explosion of a fireworks warehouse in the Netherlands) 15.5.2000
disaster: Could it happen in the UK?
National Campaign for Firework Reform says the deregulation of fireworks in the
last decade means individuals can store tons of explosives in private dwellings,
and the laws need to be tightened up.
firework manufacturers and the Royal Society for the Prevention of Accidents (RoSPA)
say the regulations on the storage of fireworks are already very tight, and they
are confident that under the current legislation, a similar disaster would not
happen in the UK. 15.5.2000
Inferno could have been avoided
blast has triggered a furious debate in The Netherlands about the safety of
fireworks storage. Lucas Reijnders is an environmental expert, who has conducted
research into how incendiary devices are stored in China, the world’s biggest
exporter of fireworks. Newsline's current affairs producer Robert Chesal asked
him what The Netherlands can learn from China.
Netherlands fireworks factory
explosion — the downside of the Dutch social model
31 May 2000
Enschede Fireworks Inferno, a Year on
weekend, The Netherlands is commemorating last year's fireworks inferno in
year later, the area is still a 700,000 squaremeter wasteland littered with
debris, twisted metal and concrete slabs. The area is fenced off because the
danger of asbestos poisoning and there's an eerie silence…
Kodde, fireworks specialist at The Netherlands Organisation for Applied
Scientific Research, explains that the assumption was that only consumer
fireworks was stored at the Enschede factory. "These fireworks require a
distance of 20 metres to inhabited buildings. This is based on statistics about
heat radiation. Professional fireworks need to be hundreds of metres away from
residential areas. Even when only small amounts are stored, debris could land
some 300 meters away, so then you need at least 400 meters."
the wake of the Enschede disaster, the Dutch government drafted new guidelines
for fireworks storage. Now, the distance to inhabited areas must be 800 meters
and a maximum amount of 6000 kilos of fireworks may be stored.
fireworks deaths: killer jailed
former kick-boxer had to be restrained by Dutch court officials after being
sentenced to 15 years for a series of firework explosions that killed 22 people.
owners of S.E. Fireworks, Rudi Bakker and Wilhelm Pater, were convicted in April
of importing and selling illegal fireworks, breaking safety codes and violating
were cleared of the more serious charge of criminal negligence. Both were given
six-month sentences and fined.
court also said Enschede authorities had made a serious error by issuing the
owners permits to store fireworks in a residential neighbourhood. 22.8.2002
Final Report/Final Consideration
Ministry of the Interior and Kingdom Relations
(Introduction/SE Fireworks; the government; the disaster/Combatting the Disaster, and Health Care/Practical Assistance)
The whole Report under http://www.emergency-management.net/enschede1.pdf
Ministry of Health, Welfare and Sport, April 2001, "Definitive results Health Inquiry Firework disaster enschede (May-June 2000), http://www.ggve.nl/pdf/Engels.pdf
Health Monitoring Victims Enschede Firework Disaster, Carried out by the Institute for Psychotrauma and the National Institute for Public Health and the Environment, by order of the Ministry of Health, Welfare and Sports "But the consequences are still being felt - Signs of recovery. Summary of the second health inquiry on the Enschede Firework Disaster (November/December 2001)"
Health Monitoring Victims Enschede Firework Disaster "Recovery among rescue workers - Long-term symptoms among groups of residents. Summary of the third health inquiry on the Enschede Firework Disaster (January/March 2004)", carried out by the Institute for Psychotrauma and the National Institute for Public Health and the Environment, by order of the Ministry of Health, Welfare and Sports, http://www.ggve.nl/uploads/PublieksversieUKwebsite.pdf
would like to point out that after the firework disaster of Enschede several
studies have been made as e.g.
RIVM Projectteam Gezondeheidsonderzoek
Vuurwerkramp Enschede "Fireworks disaster Enschede: Measurements of
elements in blood and urine; health impact assessment"(01-04-2001)
Grievink L. "Physical health and its
determinants in victims and relief workers of the firework disaster after 18
Dorresteijn S, van der Velden PG, Kleber RJ et
al "Traumatic stress and mental health in children and family functioning
after the firework explosion" (25-05-2003)
Yzermans J "Monitoring health status
following a major firework factory explosion" (25-05-2003)
Grievink L, van den Berg B, Lebret E "Determinants
of medically unexplained symptoms in victims of the Enschede firework disaster"
You can find a list of more published abstracts,
articles and scientific reports under http://www.ggve.nl/sclist.asp
(Gezondheids-Monitoring Getroffenen Vuurwerkramp Enschede/Health services
research after the Enschede Firework explosion).
jailed for fireworks blast wins payout
de Vries (falsely convicted of the Enschede fireworks disaster that killed 22
people on 13.5.2000) had demanded 1 million Euro in compensation, but Arnhem
Appeals court ruled that he should be awarded just one eighth of that amont, 125'000
Euro. The court ruled that De Vries was partly to blame for the extended period
he remained in remand custody. It found that the former Enschede resident had
worked against the investigation and gave demonstrable false statements.
remembers deadly fireworks disaster
eastern Dutch city Enschede held a special ceremony to commemorate the
catastrophe four years ago to the day when a blast at a fireworks storage
facility killed 22 people and destroyed an entire neighbourhood. Mayor Jan Mans
led a silent procession through the Roombeek district. All church bells in the
city rang for five minutes and then Mayor Mans read a poem "Enschede huilt"
(Enschede cries), which was written by Willem Wilmink. 13.5.2004
Prevention in Urban Environments
Journal of Spatial Development, Sept 2004 no 12
Disasters always have very undesirable consequences, especially when they occur
in urban environments. This paper discusses some problems with regard to
disaster prevention policy in the Netherlands. This policy was put to the test
in May 2000, when a devastating fireworks accident in the Dutch town Enschede
took place, destroying a significant part of the built environment of this town,
with an investigation by an independent evaluation committee painfully
highlighting the failure of the local and national authorities' preventative
policies. The Enschede disaster stimulated many new activities at various levels
of government with regard to the need to improve disaster prevention and control….
Ganzer Artikel unter http://www.henkvoogd.nl/pdf/refereed12.pdf
City commemorates deadly fireworks blast 5 years ago
Enschede is commemorating the five-year anniversary of the massive fireworks explosion that ripped through a residential district killing 22 people. The theme of Friday's anniversary is 'commemoration in passing', expressing the idea that despite construction work on a new residential area, the disaster will never be forgotten. A silent march has been organised through the under-construction residential district of Roombbek, where the SE Fireworks warehouse exploded on 13 May 2000.
Kamp I, van der Velden PG, Stellato RK et al.
and mental health shortly after a disaster: first results from the Enschede
firework disaster study
Journal of Public Health. 2005;16(3):252-58
Two to three weeks after the explosion of a fireworks storage facility in a
residential area (May 2000, Enschede, The Netherlands) we assessed the
self-reported physical and mental health among those affected by the disaster.
Results indicate that the fireworks disaster had a substantial impact on the
health of those affected by the disaster. The health impact was most pronounced
for residents and passers-by and also for rescue workers living in the affected
area, but to a lesser degree. Physical and mental health problems were strongly
associated with the shocking experiences during and shortly after the disaster.
and article (free) under http://eurpub.oxfordjournals.org/cgi/content/full/16/3/252?ijkey=u5eaOFFm1YLzqfG&keytype=ref
victims' group disbands
lobby group representing the victims of the Enschede fireworks disaster has
disbanded. A majority of the handful of people present at a meeting on Monday
voted in favour of the decision.
will continue to staff a helpline for people who need assistance arising out of
the explosion at a fireworks depot in May 2000. 26.9.2005
Right to compensation
More than 200 victims of the Enschede fireworks disaster in May 2000 have a
right to compensation, a court in The Hague ruled.
court ruled that the fireworks deport S.E. Fireworks and three partners were
liable for the disaster. The Enschede City Council and the Dutch State do not
have to pay damages. In total, 295 people had joined the civil procedure, but
the court ruled that only 215 were actual victims of the 13 May 2000 fireworks
Source: "Damages for firework victims", 13.12.2006, http://www.expatica.com/actual/article.asp?subchannel_id=19&story_id=35041
€8.5m paid to Enschede fireworks victims
A total of €8.5m in compensation has been distributed to the victims of the Enschede firework factory explosion, seven years after the diaster. The organisation in charge of distributing the compensation, the UPV, has 300 people cash for incurring extra costs, 136 people money for loss of income, and 1,477 people compensation for health problems.
Source: "€8.5m paid to Enschede fireworks victims", 19.9.2007, http://www.dutchnews.nl/news/archives/2007/09/85m_paid_to_enschede_firework.php
You can find a lot of interesting articles in German about Enschede under http://www.stop-fireworks.org/unfaelle_holland.htm