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WAR IN SPAIN: Two Versions

1 minute read

First reports of a devastating fire in one of the many Leftist munitions plants established in Barcelona’s suburbs leaked out of Spain last week through Perpignan, France. The fire and the resulting explosions were said to have killed 400 persons. Many workmen, thinking an air raid was on, took refuge in the plant’s basement, where they were smothered. There was a hint that a Rightist espionage agent had been responsible for a telling blow to the Leftist munitions supply. Another version was that a careless laborer simply dropped an explosive shell.

The news having reached the outside world despite the vigilance of Leftist censors, the Leftist Ministry of National Defense next day saw fit to issue a statement “correcting” the report of widespread damage and huge casualties. Correction: only four were killed, only 19 injured, the material damage was slight. New York Timesman Herbert L. Matthews, who investigated the fire on the spot but was unable to cable the details abroad, agreed with this version.

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