, Volume 42, Issue 8, pp 664-668
Date: 21 May 2007

Psychological consequences of a firework factory disaster in a local community

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Abstract

Objective

This study assessed the prevalence of post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD) and other psychological consequences of an explosion disaster in a residential area in Kolding, Denmark, in November 2004.

Method

A community sample of 516 evacuated adults and a control group of 119 residents situated near the disaster area, but not affected by the explosion were assessed 3 months after the disaster by standardized instruments.

Results

Of the evacuated sample, 13% met DSM-IV criteria for PTSD in contrast to 1% in the control group; 35% of the exposed sample and 7% of the control group were identified as ‘probable cases’ by the GHQ-30 (both p’s < 0.0005).

Conclusion

The study provides evidence of the negative impact of a technological disaster on mental health and the need of preventive interventions.