Warming fire kills Albanian woman at munitions plant

Kapxhiu, 45, was one of a team of six who were dismantling the fuses of 57mm shells at the Polican plant.

Warming fire kills Albanian woman at munitions plant

An Albanian woman dismantling communist-era munitions died on Tuesday when a shell fuse exploded after she and other workers at a military plant in the south of the country lit a fire nearby to warm themselves.

"To build the fire, they used the remains of the packaging of the fuses ... an element of a fuse exploded, hitting worker Suzana Kapxhiu on the side of her head," the Defence Ministry said in a statement. "She died on the way to the hospital."

Kapxhiu, 45, was one of a team of six who were dismantling the fuses of 57mm shells at the Polican plant, which produced weapons and ammunition during the Stalinist rule of Enver Hoxha.

Albania is trying to dispose of some 100,000 tonnes of ammunition amassed during the 40-year dictatorship of Hoxha, who banned religion, closed the borders and fortified his country against expected attack by Western or Soviet bloc states.

In March last year, a string of blasts at a dismantling site near the capital Tirana killed 26 people and wounded hundreds, both workers at the plant and villagers living close by.

Reuters
Last Mod: 06 Ocak 2009, 17:31
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