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A freak tornado has smashed into Europe's largest steel plant in the Italian city of Taranto, leaving one person missing and dozens injured.
Video footage shows the storm rolling in off the sea and tearing through the port city before hitting the huge IVLA site.
The sudden storm filled the sky with grey swirls of cloud that ripped across the harbour - and it is the latest blow to IVLA, which has become one of the most pressing issues confronting the government of Prime Minister Mario Monti.
Workers had stormed the plant on Tuesday to protest about a planned closure announced on Monday. Managers have been attempting to address health concerns amid reports of an elevated incidence of cancer in the area.
Description of the video by YouTube poster Daniele Carbotti roughly translated from Italian:
"A tornado was seen, pointed at the industrial port of Taranto, that lifted considerable material from the ground... In fact, you see a flash caused by damage to electrical equipment... Now you hear a lot of ambulances, certainly within the industrial center to administer first aid... THE KIND OF THING I HAVEN'T EVER SEEN. I just hope no one was hurt."
The whole of Italy and the western Mediterranean is under the sway of a powerful fall storm. Weather observations from nearby Grottaglie show stormy weather starting at 0700 UTC (through at least 1200 UTC) Wednesday, including strong southeasterly winds, thunderstorms and downpours.