AZF was the name of a chemical factory in Toulouse, France, which exploded on 21 September 2001. The blast was equivalent to 20-40 tons of TNT, measuring 3.4 on the Richter scale, and was heard 80 km away . The incident resulted in 29 deaths and left 2,500 wounded. Damages paid by insurance exceed 1.5 billion euros.
Although authorities initially treated the incident as an accident, the then Environment Minister speculated that the explosion may have been "a terrorist attack" in the wake of the September 11 attacks. The body of a worker known to harbor Islamic fundamentalist sympathies was found in the blast and investigated, although official investigation found the blast to be accidental. In Spring 2004, a terrorist group adopted the same name and threatened the French government with bombings.
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