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News > Colombia

Colombia: Two Gunpowder Explosions in a Single Day

  • First Aid Units Assist Injured People, Tolima, Colombia, Dec. 17, 2020.

    First Aid Units Assist Injured People, Tolima, Colombia, Dec. 17, 2020. | Photo: Twitter/ @AlertaTolima

Published 18 December 2020

So far this year, 204 Colombians have been affected by gunpowder explosions, 86 of whom are minors.

On Thursday, an explosion at a gunpowder depot killed a 16-year-old boy and injured 17 people in the Libano township in Colombia's Tolima department. 


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Tolima's Health Secretary Jorge Bolivar confirmed that three minors were injured, adding that the patients have very delicate burns and serious contusions and blows. The explosion occurred at 4.40 pm local time.

Authorities also confirmed another explosion recorded in an illegal gunpowder factory in Giron (Santander department) where an 80-year-old man was killed. 

Giron's Interior Secretary Juan Carlos Pinto noted that recent police operations were conducted at the factory and the community was warned about the prohibition on manufacturing and commercializing gunpowder.

"These facts are regrettable, because no matter how many campaigns are conducted, no matter how many messages are given and no matter how many operations are carried out, people insist on using gunpowder," Pinto said.

The meme reads, "Besides burns, poisoning, and respiratory diseases in humans, gunpowder can cause heart attacks, miscarriages, and aggressive behavior in animals."

According to local outlet Vanguardia, Colombia has recorded 204 people affected by gunpowder explosion so far this year.

The figures showed that 61.8 percent of injured people were affected by the handling of gunpowder, 24 percent were observers,  and 3.5 percent were transporting or selling the gunpowder at the time of the explosion.

As for the type of injury, 91.7 percent suffered burns, 66.7 percent lacerations, 24 percent contusions, 9.8 percent amputations, 7.4 percent suffered eye damage and 2 percent hearing damage.

The highest numbers of people affected by gunpowder have been registered in the departments of Valle del Cauca (26), Antioquia (24), Cundinamarca (19), and Cordoba (11).

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