An explosion at one of France’s largest petrochemical plants last Friday has left 29 people dead, 10 missing, and 2,500 injured. The blast from the AZF plant in Toulouse sent acid clouds into the air and caused problems as far as three miles away. Philippe Douste-Blazy, the mayor of Toulouse, said some 20,000 homes, apartments, and offices were damaged by the explosion and a university campus with 25,000 students had been shut. Environmental officials yesterday warned nearby towns not to drink tap water because the plant had contaminated the local river. Some residents are wondering if the blast was caused by terrorists, but local and national officials have said it was merely an accident, perhaps the result of poor safety measures at the plant.
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