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Czech Republic: One dead following blast at explosives factory

Prague, Czech Republic – One man has died following the explosion at a Semtex plant in Pardubice, Martin Vencl, a spokesman for the explosives factory, told the Czech News Agency on Sunday.

A total of four men have suffered critical injuries following the Friday explosion, including burns over more than 30% of their body. Two of them remain in critical condition in a Prague hospital and have been placed in an intensive-care unit.

The fourth man has been transferred to the University Hospital in Brno over the week-end.

Located in Pardubice, about one hour east of Prague, the Explosia plant is in charge of manufacturing Semtex, a plastic explosive produced in Czechoslovakia since the early 1960’s. Due to its ease of use and difficulty to detect, it has been widely used by a number of paramilitary groups and terrorist organizations since then. It’s also often used for demolition.

The Czech-made plastic explosives is named after Semtin, a suburb of Pardubice where it was first invented in the late 1950’s.

An explosion and fire broke out in the early hours of Friday morning at the Explosia plant. The exact causes remain unknown, and local authorities are currently investigating the incident.

Minister of Industry and Trade Karel Havlíček (ANO) issued a public statement and expressed his condolences to the family of the victims.

Headed by Kafkadesk's chief-editor Jules Eisenchteter, our Prague office gathers over half a dozen reporters, editors and contributors, as well as our social media team. It covers everything Czech and Slovak-related, and oversees operations from our other Central European desks in Krakow and Budapest.