Several people have been killed after an explosion rocked a fireworks depot in a small town on the Italian island of Sicily.

The bodies of three people have been removed from the rubble in the town of Barcellona Pozzo di Gotto, with three others seriously injured, la Repubblica paper reported. One of those killed was the wife of the owner of the local fireworks company, with his son now fighting for his life.

The sad irony was that the blast apparently occurred during works to make the facility safer. Employees from an external firm were setting up the new metal gates when sparks came out during welding and got in contact with some stored fireworks.

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