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Fire and explosions kill 16 people at Russian gunpowder plant

22 October 2021

An explosion in a gunpowder workshop killed 16 people on October 22 in the Ryazan Region of Russia. Russia’s Emergencies Ministry said that “violations in the technological process" had led to the fire breaking out.

Image: Russian Emergencies Ministry
Image: Russian Emergencies Ministry

The Emergencies Ministry had initially reported that seven people had died, one person was seriously injured, and nine others were missing. However, this was later revised to a death toll of 16, with state news agency TASS reporting that 12 bodies had been found while a search for four other bodies was continuing.

Russia’s Prosecutor General’s Office has started an investigation into the incident while the acting prosecutor of the Ryazan Region attended the scene in central Russia. In order to help coordinate the search and rescue efforts, the acting head of the Russian Emergencies Ministry, Alexander Chupriyan, also attended the scene. The Ministry added that two heavy rescue vehicles, an excavator and a truck crane were also being sent. 
The Emergencies Ministry added that emergency services were first alerted to a fire at the site at 08:22 local time. Firefighters were able to extinguish the blaze, which also caused a series of explosions, by 09:31. In total, 170 people and 50 pieces of equipment were involved in the response.

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