What we know about the explosions that injured eight people in a factory in Bergerac

Explosions occurred in a Seveso-classified factory in Bergerac around 2 p.m. on Wednesday. Eight injuries including one serious were recorded.

This Wednesday, several explosions were heard coming from a Seveso-classified factory in Bergerac, Dordogne. A total of eight injured, one of whom was seriously injured, were identified and taken care of by the emergency services.

While the prefecture indicated, at the end of the afternoon, that the “situation [était] under control”, BFMTV.com takes stock of what we know about these explosions.

• What happened?

Around 2 p.m. on Wednesday, several explosions were heard from the Manuco factory, located on the Eurenco site. Following these detonations, a fire broke out on the site. According to prefecture of Dordognethe explosions more specifically took place inside a storage building.

Quickly, the emergency services and the authorities were dispatched to the scene. A total of 20 police officers, 61 firefighters, 32 vehicles and two SAMU helicopters were mobilized. “Immediately, many calls [ont afflué] at the town hall of Bergerac, the SDIS called me to intervene. The municipal police came to complete the perimeter”, said, during a press briefing, the mayor of Bergerac, Jonathan Prioleaud.

The Minister of the Interior, Gérald Darmanin, has also asked the prefect to activate a crisis center.

According to a press release from the prefecture published around 5 p.m. on Wednesday, the situation is now under control. “There is no longer any risk of spread”, confirms the sub-prefect during a press briefing.

• What is the human toll?

In total, one seriously injured and seven slightly injured were recorded. All are factory employees. They were able to be transported to various hospitals in the region, in particular thanks to SAMU helicopters. They found themselves a priori outside the building where the explosions occurred and were reportedly hit by flying objects.

Regarding the seriously injured, internal bleeding was suspected. The prefecture finally declares that his vital prognosis is not engaged, even if he suffers from significant wounds, in particular in the leg.

In addition, the “white plan” had been triggered in order to allow rapid support, that is to say that all means in terms of logistics, equipment and personnel were mobilized to deal with the situation.

All factory employees as well as sports facilities not far from the factory were evacuated. According to the mayor of the city, interviewed live on BFMTV, 35 other people also felt “inconvenienced” by the fumes caused by the fire.

“The families of the employees asked for information on the people present on the site. We were able to reassure them as we went along,” he continues.

A medico-psychological unit has been set up by the Dordogne SAMU.

• What does this Seveso-classified factory produce?

The factory in which these explosions occurred belongs to the Manuco company, located on the Eurenco site. It produces nitrocellulose, a product used in the composition of explosives and powders, which explains why it is classified Seveso.

If the neighborhood is still secure for the time being and an investigation must be carried out to determine the causes of the explosions, Jonathan Prioleaud assures that the news is rather “reassuring”.

“The site is very watched, with exercises regularly on site and firefighters are on site. Today we can only be reassuring to the population,” he said on BFMTV.

The mayor adds that meetings are regularly organized with the prefecture and the management of the site in order to maintain strong vigilance there. “We do it all year round, not just when there’s an explosion,” he says.

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