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Hundreds Still Unaccounted for After Dutch Blast

By Karen Iley

ENSCHEDE, Netherlands (Reuters) - Hundreds of people are still unaccounted for after a devastating Dutch fireworks explosion at the weekend, officials said Tuesday.

Authorities stuck to a death toll forecast of 20 from Saturday's blast. They were reluctant to put a precise number on how many were unaccounted for, but said it appeared to be between 200 and 400.

Officials had previously said 200 were not yet accounted for, but emphasized that they could be staying with friends or relatives and urged them to come forward and register.

``It's very difficult. I cannot give you a realistic number. There are 200 to 400 people on the list but it may not be the number actually missing. It is fluctuating every day and it may well be much lower,'' Jan Kryns, head of the disaster investigation team, told reporters after much pressing.

Fifteen corpses have so far been found, victims of the explosion that sent a fireball through the eastern town of Enschede, destroying 400 homes and damaging hundreds more

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