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Fire, blasts at Indian ordnance factory injure six

27 March 2017

Explosions and a massive fire took hold of sections of Ordnance Factory Khamaria (OFK) in Jabalpur, Madhya Pradesh, on March 25, just one day after explosions rocked another ammunition factory at Itarsi in the same state. The ANI news agency said six had been injured in the incident at the 50 acre site, which is 320 kms east of Bhopal.

There were at least 25 explosions at building 845, where the ammunition was kept.

Senior officials of the factory claimed the scorching heat might have self-detonated old ammunition. OFK general manager AK Agarwal told the Hindustan Times that a stockpile of discarded 106 mm recoilless gun ammunition more than 20 years old could have detonated due to the 40 degree Celsius heat that day, but the final cause was only likely to be established after experts had investigated the incident thoroughly.

He said an inquiry has been ordered and experts would be coming from Pune to probe the incident.

Indian Ordnance Factories, which functions under the country’s defence ministry, is a conglomerate of 41 factories, 9 training institutes, 3 regional marketing centres and 4 regional controllers of safety.

Established in 1942, the OFK is one of the country’s main ammunition manufacturing plants. It manufactures ammunition components, hardware, shells, primer and cartridge cases for medium and high calibre ammunition.

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