Sixth Man Critically Injured
A CONFINED EXPLOSION IN AN INDUSTRIAL SHOP killed five men instantly and critically injured a sixth Wednesday night in Lincolnshire, England. It is believed that they were operating an illegal "vodka factory" inside the small, rental unit in a Boston industrial park and the unit was closed up to deter observation when the still blew up violently at 7:30 pm.
People living up to five miles away heard the blast that warped the rollup door preventing immediate access by the fire brigade. The East Anglian Daily Times reports:
Steve Moore, area manager from Lincolnshire Fire and Rescue Service, said a total of six fire engines were sent to the scene.
"When the first crews attended they were faced with a really serious fire and a casualty who was outside the building suffering from burns," he said. "The incoming crew then started to fight the fire, it was a really hot, intense fire."
The officer said the fierce flames set alight a car outside the unit and also buckled its roller shutters, meaning crews were forced to use hydraulic equipment to cut their way into the block.
"At that point we received further information that there may be further casualties," he added. Mr Moore said six firefighters wearing breathing apparatus searched the unit and found five further casualties.
Neighbors say that there have been complaints and concerns about a group of Polish nationals that were suspected of operating the large still making counterfeit vodka and supplying local liquor outlets.
Press Association prepared this video report:
Some 25% of Boston's 30,000 population is believed to be from Russia, Eastern Europe and also Portugal. Several people thought to be Eastern Europeans arrived at the scene of the blast asking about the identities of casualties.
Counterfeit vodka was found in the town in co-ordinated raids in March. A total of 88 litres of potential illegal alcohol was seized. Gary Seymour, assistant head of Lincolnshire's trading standards department, said: "Some of the illegally-made vodka has been found to contain high levels of methanol, which is used to make anti-freeze and some other fuels. Drinking it can cause blindness."
The industrial park has a mix of large, heavy industry and smaller shops working with metal and wood products.
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