Enschede fireworks blast suspect dies, blaming state for making him ill

The man suspected of causing the fireworks explosion in Enschede 13 years ago has died of bowel cancer, blaming justice officials for causing his illness.

André de Vries was suspected of setting the fire which spread to a nearby fireworks storage centre in May 2000. The ensuing explosion killed 23 people, injured 950 and destroyed a complete residential area of 450 houses.

He was jailed for 15 years by a court in 2002 but freed a year later for lack of evidence.

De Vries, 46, fought for years to clear his name. According to news agency ANP he left a letter blaming the justice ministry for his death and not restoring his reputation. ‘This has deeply wounded me. I largely blame my incurable illness on the government and justice department,’ the letter is quoted as saying.

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