Published On: Tue, May 31st, 2016

17 Killed in India army ammunition depot fire

The injured have been taking to nearby hospital and two of them are said to be in a serious condition.

The injured have been taking to nearby hospital and two of them are said to be in a serious condition.

PULGAON: A fire at a massive military ammunition depot in Pulgaon in Maharashtra has killed at least 17 army personnel and injured 19 others.

The blaze began at 1:30 am at the depot near Nagpur, with television footage showing flames lighting up the night sky above the largest ammunition centre in India and the second-largest in Asia.

Ammunition stored and distributed from here includes AK47s and BrahMos missiles. Sources told NDTV that some of the casualties were caused as officers rushed towards the flames to prevent crucial ammunition from being blown up.

Prime Minister Narendra Modi tweeted that Defence Minister Manohar Parrikar will visit the depot today.  At 11 am, Maharashtra Chief Minister Devendra Fadnavis said he had been informed that the fire has been contained.
The injured reportedly include the Commanding Officer of the depot who was leading efforts to protect the ammunition. However, NDTV does not have independent confirmation of this.

Thousands of families living in nearby towns and villages have been evacuated from around the depot.

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The army has ordered a Court of Inquiry or investigation; sources said they cannot confirm if the fire was an accident or sabotage.

Firefighters using 10 fire engines worked through the night to contain the blaze, said Ramesh Barde, a fire officer with the Nagpur fire department.

“The fire was brought under control by 6:15 am. The situation is under control and a report is being prepared,” he added, speaking from the scene.

About the Author

Syed Ammar Alavi

- is Lahore (Pakistan) based journalist & writer with 25-year experience in print, wire and broadcast forms of journalism. His major fields of interest are politics, film,tv,sports, climate change and technology

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