Major fire breaks out after van explodes in central Milan

The Local/AFP (
The Local/AFP ([email protected])
Major fire breaks out after van explodes in central Milan
File photo courtesy of Vigili del Fuoco (Italian fire brigade)

A large fire has broken out in Milan city centre following the explosion of a van parked on the street, emergency services confirmed.


The blaze was reported on Thursday afternoon in the central Porta Romana area on the corner of Via Pier Lombardo and Via Vasari, where about a dozen parked vehicles reportedly caught fire following the blast.

Local police believe that the explosion was triggered by oxygen cylinders inside the van or a nearby vehicle, reported Sky TG24.

A large black cloud "tens of meters high" was visible from many areas of the city immediately after the explosion, Sky TG24 reported.

Milan Mayor Beppe Sala ruled out any question of a terrorist attack or events of a similar nature.

"It's a van carrying oxygen cylinders," he told reporters as he arrived on the scene.

"At the moment they're reporting an injured person, albeit seriously, who I believe is the driver, but there's no other damage."

Footage published by the fire service suggested a powerful blast, showing what it said were about a dozen parked cars that had been completely burned out.

On the street between them, several canisters were visible next to the remains of a destroyed vehicle.

Buildings in the immediate vicinity were evacuated, including a school, while damage was reported to a nearby pharmacy and two apartments.

A fire service spokesman at the scene confirmed the van had been carrying oxygen and that one person was injured, the driver.

He said the cause of the blast was being investigated.


Another fire service spokesman earlier told AFP the person suffered injuries to the arms and legs, and said all buildings in the immediate vicinity had been evacuated.

One local resident told SkyTG24 his car and motorbike had been destroyed in the blaze.

"I entered the building to retrieve my cats, but there was too much smoke," he said.


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Susannah 2023/05/11 15:55
What a scary and expensive day for all involved. I hope those poor cats are fine.

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