Two people were severely wounded Wednesday when a few gas containers exploded in a Sderot factory. They were taken to the Soroka University Medical Center in Beersheba, suffering from burns on their torsos.
The initial blast, which was heard clearly throughout Sderot, was followed by a series of small explosions, causing anxiety among local residents who were sure Qassam rockets were hitting the city, or that the IDF was operating in the vicinity.
Several minutes into the event, the explosions were tracked back to an illegal gas factory, operating out of a warehouse in Sderot's industrial area.
Yigal Zohar, commander of the local fire department, told Ynet that it would take several hours to contain the fire, adding the reason for the explosions was unknown at this time: "Some sort of mishap caused several gas containers to explode and start a fire. Two employees were hurt and the fire began spreading towards other gas containers.
"The fire caused additional explosions, as well as causing several walls to collapse from the force of the blast. We called in firefighters from the entire area and we have six teams at the site."
The Environmental Protection Ministry sent its hazardous materials unit to the explosion site as well and they are trying to locate the factory's owner.
Police forces have closed off the entire industrial area and all nonessential personal have been asked to evacuate the premises.