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03. August 2009

France foundry explosion hurts 46

At least 46 people have been injured by an explosion at a foundry in northern France, during a demonstration for members of the public, officials say.

The blast happened at around noon at a bell-making foundry in Villedieu-les-Poeles, a town in the region.

Most of those hurt suffered minor burns or smoke inhalation and were treated on site, but one person had to be admitted to hospital, fire-fighters said.

The accident was probably caused by the explosion of a dust cloud, they added.

The blast produced a large cloud of smoke and showered the group of 50 tourists with molten bronze, police told the AFP news agency.

The Cornille-Harvard foundry in Villedieu-les-Poeles has been making bells since the Middle Ages and now exports them around the world.

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