link to Home Page

Belgium Gasline Explosion
July 29, 2004

Belgian Gas Pipe Blast Kills 15, Destroys Plants
A huge blast on a leaking gas pipeline in Belgium Friday sent giant fireballs in the air and catapulted bodies hundreds of yards in the biggest industrial disaster in the country's recent history. At least 15 people were killed and more than 100 injured when the explosion ripped through the underground pipeline in the industrial zone of Ghislenghien, near the town of Ath, 25 miles southwest of Brussels. The chain of explosions, described by one witness as a mini-Hiroshima, destroyed two factories, leaving a large crater between the plants. Bodies and debris were scattered over a 500-yard radius around the disaster site and scorched a wide area. The explosion tore through a section of the underground line carrying gas from the Belgian port of Zeebrugge to northern France as repair men were working to plug a leak, a spokesman for the agency said.