16 Dead in Gunpowder Factory Explosion in Russia

At least 16 people were reported killed in an explosion and fire at a munitions factory in Russia on Friday (22/10).

The explosion occurred at the Elastics factory in Ryazan, about 270 kilometers southeast of the Russian capital, Moscow.

Acting head of the Russian Ministry of Civil Defence, Emergencies and Natural Disaster Elimination (MCHS) Alexander Chupriyan who arrived at the scene, said the threat of greater danger had been prevented.

Officials initially only said the blast killed seven people and left nine others missing. But hours later it was announced that all those previously declared missing had died. One person is currently being treated in hospital for serious injuries.

The ministry said 170 emergency workers and 50 relief vehicles had been deployed in an effort to extinguish the fire.

The Ministry of Emergency Situations said the explosion was caused by an unspecified failure in the production process. [em/rs]

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