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The first explosion at 4.20pm local time was reportedly so big it shook nearby village Gudja and left witnesses terrified.

It apparently came from a nearby fireworks factory near Gudga, although this has yet to be confirmed.

Bystanders have posted numerous pictures online of massive plumes of dark smoke rising from where the blast happened.

A number of flights in and out of the airport have noow reportedly been delayed while officials assess how serious the situation is.

One witness wrote on social media: "Just a giant explosion next to #Malta airport. Shook the whole building. Followed by fireworks. Our flight may be delayed..."

Another local resident told the Times of Malta:“It was a powerful explosion followed by a number of smaller ones, the big one felt like an earthquake."

The article listed above is a summary. Please see the source article at Google News.