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Enschede fireworks disaster

Title: Het stond in de krant: Twente door de lens van de persfotograaf

Author: Marco Krijnsen

Publisher: Uitgeverij Wbooks, Zwolle, 2023

ISBN: 9789462585898

On May 13, 2000, in the middle of the Roompot neighborhood in Enschede, the fireworks storage facility of S.E. Fireworks exploded. The explosions killed 23 people, including four firefighters. Nearly a thousand were injured and about two hundred houses in this neighborhood were destroyed.


On the occasion of the 20th anniversary of the commemoration of this disaster, a series of interviews with people involved were made between 2018 and 2019. Marco Krijnsen, public historian and journalist portrayed 23 people who were affected by this disaster. The interviews give a good picture of the experiences during and after the disaster of both residents of the neighborhood and various other people involved including a journalist, a police officer, a firefighter, the widow of a firefighter who died, a factory manager, a head of social affairs and an alderman. The interviewer has also published a photo book about Twente. Using 125 selected photographs, Krijnsen discusses the history of Twente, including fireworks disasters.


An overview of the interviews can be found on the Atlasvanooit

The interviews can be found on Youtube with the search terms “Atlas van Ooit interviews vuurwerkramp” – They are on the Youtube channel @atlasvanooit5632

Dyke breach 1925/1926

Aantal ingenieurs bekijken het punt waar de dijkdoorbraak plaats vond tijdens de watersnoodramp. Overasselt, 1926 [SFA022813801], Het Leven, Spaarnestad Photo

Erfgoedplatform Heumen







Three stories about the flood disaster in Overasselt and Nederasselt on New Year’s Eve 1925 have been recorded from eyewitnesses who lived in Overasselt during the dike breach. They were respectively 7, 5.5 and 5 years old at the time. What they did not know in 1925 was that the water had been up to the crest of the dykes for days due to snow and heavy rainfall in late December. On New Year’s Eve, the south-westerly wind was right on the vulnerable dike and the water punched a hundred-metre hole in the dike between Overasselt and Nederasselt near ´t Roth farm.
Pastor van Riel was at early mass in Overasselt church with parishioners at the Gospel just after 7.30am. Before he knew it, the church emptied and was left with one altar boy. They heard someone shouting, “D´n diek is doorbroken.”