A small Dwejra shrine to the Virgin Mary managed to survive yesterday’s explosion at the Soċjeta Piroteknika 15 ta’ Awissu fireworks factory and some people are viewing it as a sign of greater powers.
A photo of the intact shrine surrounded by smoke was posted yesterday by Ħaż-Żebbuġ independent councillor Steve Zammit Lupi and went viral.
“It’s a miracle and a sign for us to reflect that the Madonna always steps in for us,” one man said.
“The Hand that guides us through works for real,” a woman commented.
Alexander Bartolo, one of the 11 workers who was at the factory at the time of the explosion, also posted the photo, thanking the public for their support and offering prayers to his friends Niki Magro and Salvu Galea, who are recovering in hospital after suffering grievous injuries.
Soċjeta Piroteknika 15 ta’ Awissu announced that a mass will be held at the Mosta Basilica at 7pm this evening to thank the Virgin Mary.
“We thank everyone for the solidarity they showed us in these tough times and we pray for our members who are recovering from slight injuries,” the factory said. “God willing they will return to us in full strength.”
An informed source told Lovin Malta that the explosion started after factory workers were preparing a batch of bombi and leaving them out to dry in the sun within the factory perimeters.
For some reason, the bombi exploded as they were drying. A magisterial inquiry is ongoing to establish the facts but early indications suggest the platform they had been placed on may have been too hot.
A second explosion was believed to have been caused by flames hitting a small container of shells (blalen).
However, the main explosive material storage room is believed to have been unaffected, which means the accident could have been so much worse.
Amidst the chaos, a dog had been left inside the factory but it has since been rescued.