At least 17 security personnel, including two Army officers, were on Tuesday killed in a major fire that broke out at the central ammunition depot in Maharashtra’s Pulgoan that houses the biggest stockpile of weapons in the country.
Two officers, including a Lieutenant Colonel, and 15 Defence Security Corp (DSC) jawans were among those killed in the blaze, an Army officer said. Army has ordered an inquiry into the incident.
Also, at least 19 security personnel were injured in the fire that has spread to number of sheds that houses ammunitions, bombs and other explosive items.
Sources said residents of nearby villages have been evacuated and Army helicopters pressed into service to help in the evacuation of the injured security personnel.
“The main fire at one of the sheds has been extinguished. The situation is being stabilised. Secondary fire and explosions cannot be ruled out now,” the Army officer said refusing to go into the reasons of the fire.
Army has ordered an inquiry into the incident. The central ammunition depot at Pulgaon is India’s biggest ammunition depot as stocks from various factories comes here first and is then distributed to various forward areas. Pulgaon is 110 kms from Nagpur.
Pained by the loss of lives in the incident, PM Modi tweeted
I pray that those who are injured recover quickly. Have asked RM @manoharparrikar to visit the spot & take stock of the situation.
— Narendra Modi (@narendramodi) May 31, 2016