At least 85 people were injured in multiple explosions at a munitions plant in the russian city of dzerzhinsk. 39 plant workers and 46 residents of neighboring houses had needed medical assistance, the health ministry said.
A total of 16 people still had to be treated in hospital on sunday.
The figures on the number of injured had been repeatedly increased after the accident on saturday. Mainly glass splinters from broken windows caused the injuries. There were no fatalities. But the authorities called a state of emergency in the city with more than 200.000 inhabitants. Dzerzhinsk is located about 400 kilometers east of moscow.
The cause of the explosion was initially unclear. However, the national investigation committee has opened a case for violation of safety regulations in the production plant. The moscow investigators sent experienced criminologists to the scene of the accident. The day before the plant director was dismissed because of constant problems with safety at the production, it was said.
Russian television images showed a huge cloud of smoke over the city as well as fire. Hundreds of window panes were shattered by the blast wave. According to the authorities, 185 buildings were affected. "There is no danger of further spread of fire, possible detonations or secondary explosions," said area governor gleb nikitin in the night to sunday. "You can sleep peacefully."Nikitin had set up a special task force. He criticized the spread of false news on social networks and the resulting panic. Authorities announced that the number of people affected by the explosions was 150 each.000 rubles (about 2,000 euros) in damages.
The detonations happened on saturday morning at the kristall company – in a mine where the explosive TNT is produced. The factory manufactures bombs for the military, among other things. Explosives are also produced there for industrial use, for example in mines. Five buildings of the plant were destroyed, it said.
Residents of the city were temporarily asked to keep their windows closed. However, the authorities stressed that at no time was there any danger from a chemical cloud of smoke, for example. Accordingly, the emergency services also refrained from evacuating houses.
According to the ministry of civil defense, a flat area of 800 square meters was temporarily on fire on the plant premises. The fire was also reported to have spread to 400 square meters of neighboring forest land. Reporters reported from the city that the access road to the rustic farm was blocked. Such plants, which are important for the security of the country, are under the special control of the russian security services.
In russia, devastating accidents with many injuries and deaths occur time and again. The reason is often that the most elementary safety precautions are not observed. Since 2014 alone, there have been nearly a dozen similar explosions at explosives manufacturing plants in russia, the tass state agency listed in a dossier.
Even in the rusting company kristall, which has been producing since the 1950s, there was an explosion just two months ago. In another rustic plant in the city of dzerzhinsk, five people died and six other employees were injured in an explosion at the end of august 2018. At that time, too, safety rules were allegedly not observed in the production of ammunition.