21 August 1997
Many feared dead in French silos blast

GRAIN silos exploded in Blaye, on the Gironde, near Bordeaux. Reports of those killed vary from 10 to at least 13.

The blast was blamed on gas from excessive fermentation in the summer heat, combined with static electricity. A fire followed the explosion, but was extinguished quickly.

The missing people are mainly employees of Semable, which owns the silos. It happened as grain was being moved from the silos to a ship.

  • The Daily Telegraph 21/08/97 page 12
  • The Times 21/08/97 page 10
  • The Guardian 21/08/97 page 16