Residents return home in central Finland town

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Steam rising from the Vihtavuori explosives plant area on Wednesday. (Yle)
Steam rising from the Vihtavuori explosives plant area on Wednesday. (Yle)

The risk of explosion at a gunpowder factory in Central Finland has receded, and evacuated residents are now allowed to return home. There are still questions about the contents of a container at the centre of the alert.

The evacuation order was lifted by local officials at 20:30 on Wednesday after water pumped into the container appeared to reduce its temperature sufficiently to avoid the risk of an explosion.

Central Finland fire marshall Hannu Kouhia said that the smouldering container had been isolated from other waste containers, so the risk of a major explosion has rescinded. Samples were taken in an attempt to discover what in the container caused the chemical reactions, and these will be analysed on Thursday. Firefighters continue cooling operations on the suspect container.

The Safety Investigation Authority, the police and the Safety and Chemicals Agency are to conduct a broad-ranging investigation into the incident.

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Yle News

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