June 2 (UPI) — A series of blasts Saturday rocked a Russian TNT plant, damaging around 200 buildings citywide and injuring nearly 80 people.
At least 79 people have been injured with 16 hospitalized, RT News reported. The initial explosion triggered two other blasts at the same facility and the fire. The blasts destroyed about 200 buildings throughout the city, with witnesses seeing windows shattering and ceilings collapsing.
A roaring blast from the explosion in the central city of Dzerzhinsk was so loud it was heard in nearby towns and cities, including Nizhniy, which is about 19 miles away, Russian media reported.
More than 300 people and 50 technical units responded to the blaze, which covered over 8,500 square feet and took firefighters several hours to contain, according to local media.
The explosion occurred in Russia’s scientific and research institute, “Kristall,” which specializes in work related to the production of explosive materials for military equipment and other industrial purposes.
Criminal inquiry has been initiated. Breach of industrial safety rules is suspected as a probable cause.
V Gorode N said two months ago there was another explosion at the plant, but at the time no injuries were reported.
The company has been operating since 1953.