Social Psychiatry and Psychiatric Epidemiology

, Volume 42, Issue 8, pp 664–668

Psychological consequences of a firework factory disaster in a local community


DOI: 10.1007/s00127-007-0206-z

Cite this article as:
Elklit, A. Soc Psychiat Epidemiol (2007) 42: 664. doi:10.1007/s00127-007-0206-z



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.


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.


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).


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

Key words

explosion disasterpost-traumatic stress disorderdepressionsocial support

Copyright information

© Springer-Verlag 2007

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Dept. of PsychologyUniversity of AarhusAarhus CDenmark