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World IN BRIEF / THAILAND

26 Killed in Blasts at Fruit Factory

September 20, 1999|From Times Wire Reports

A fruit-processing factory in Thailand exploded in two huge blasts, sending debris more than a mile, killing at least 26 people and injuring more than 100, police said. The blasts near the northern city of Chiang Mai were believed to have been caused by chemicals at the factory. TV reports said about 10 tons of ammonium nitrate, a chemical used as fertilizer and in some explosives, may have exploded. A later report said potassium chlorate, also used in the manufacture of explosives, was found at the site. This chemical is not normally used for fertilizer, but farmers in the area reportedly have found that it speeds up fruit growth.

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