Maharashtra Ammunition Depot Fire: Defence Minister, Army Chief Rush To Pulgaon

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Maharashtra Ammunition Depot Fire: Defence Minister, Army Chief Rush To Pulgaon

The Commanding Officer of the Pulgaon Central Ammunition Depot or CAD is reportedly among those injured

Pulgaon (Maharashtra):  Defence Minister Manohar Parrikar and Army Chief General Dalbir Singh visited Pulgaon in north Maharashtra, where a massive fire in an ammunition depot has killed 17 Army personnel, including two officers. At least 19 people are injured.
Here are latest developments:
  1. The Commanding Officer of the Pulgaon Central Ammunition Depot or CAD is reportedly among those injured.
  2. The fire broke out in a shed at about 1 am on Tuesday after an explosion was heard, and spread quickly.  The cause is not known yet.
  3. Much of the fire has been put out now, but there are reports of a small fire still burning in a part of the big facility. There are fears of secondary explosions and the area has been cordoned off, with no one allowed inside.
  4. Five villages around the depot were immediately evacuated as the fire was reported. With much of the fire under control, the 1,000-odd villagers have now returned to their homes.
  5. The injured have been taken to hospitals in Wardha about 33 km away from Pulgaon. The city of Nagpur is 110 km away.
  6. Most of those killed were from the Defence Security Corp or DSC made up of volunteers and retired Army personnel.
  7. The Army has ordered an investigation called a court of inquiry into the fire. Meanwhile, Army Chief General Dalbir Singh visited Pulgaon depot to make first hand assessment of the situation and on going salvage operations.
  8. The Pulgaon central ammunition depot is the biggest in India and the second biggest in Asia. It stores a huge amount of ammunition from big Brahmos missiles to AK 47 rifles.
  9. The depot also disposes off ammunition beyond its best by date and was recently awarded for using solar energy to get rid of expired ammunition.
  10. So big is the Pulgaon deport, that 100 railway lines service it, ammunition experts said.




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Highlights

1
Army orders an investigation called a court of inquiry into the fire
2
The Pulgaon central ammunition depot is the biggest in India
3
Among other ammunition, it stores big BrahMos missiles and AK-47 rifles

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