The moment 13 tons of gunpowder explodes at Russian factory killing 17 people and causing a fire which took 170 emergency workers to put out

  • The explosion took place at a gunpowder factory in the Ryazan region
  • Officials initially said the blast killed nine workers and left seven missing
  • One man was hospitalised shortly after with severe burns but died of his injuries 
  • The missing workers were later found dead, bringing the death toll to 17
  • Russia’s Emergency Situations Ministry reported the explosion had been caused by an unidentified issue with the production process 

This is the moment an explosion at a gunpowder factory in Russia on Friday killed 17 people.

Russia’s Emergency Situations Ministry said the explosion hit the Elastik factory in Lesnoye, in the Shilovsky district of the Ryazan region, about 167 miles southeast of Moscow.

Officials initially said that the blast killed seven people and left nine missing, but hours later announced that all those missing were dead. 

One person was hospitalised with extreme burns, according to local officials, but later died of his injuries. 

The ministry said 170 emergency workers and 50 vehicles were involved in dealing with the fire which it reported was caused by an unspecified failure during the production process. 

Firefighters work at the site after an explosion at a gunpowder factory in Ryazan region of Russia on October 22, 2021

170 emergency workers and 50 vehicles were involved in dealing with the fire according to the Emergency Situations Ministry, which said the cause of the fire was an unspecified failure during the production process

The Elastik gunpowder plant produced industrial explosives for blasting operations in quarries, and also organised the disposal of used ammunition and artillery

 There is thought to have been 13 tonnes of flammable and explosive material at the site at the time of the explosion

The Elastik gunpowder plant produced industrial explosives for blasting operations in quarries, and also organised the disposal of used ammunition and artillery. 

There is thought to have been 13 tonnes of flammable and explosive material at the site at the time of the explosion. 

The fire which resulted from the initial blast required 170 emergency workers and firefighters hours to quell, as search teams were dispatched to recover bodies and potential survivors. 

The bodies of nine workers were pulled from the destroyed workshop following initial searches, with seven more feared trapped under the rubble.  

It later transpired that those seven were also killed in the blast or resulting devastation, while one man was transported to hospital in critical condition with severe burns according to a representative of the Lesnovsky district hospital.

The man later died from his injuries according to a health ministry spokesperson.

The deputy chairman of Ryazan’s local government Dmitry Filipov has visited the site of the blast along with the acting head of the Emergency Situations Ministry Alexander Chupriyan to observe the damage and speak with rescue teams. 

The ministry reported that there is no danger to nearby residents. 

A criminal investigation is starting into the blast.

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