Russia gunpowder blast kills 17 – local TV

Image copyright AFP A powerful explosion at a gunpowder workshop in Russia’s far east has killed 17 people, reports say. Police believe someone set off the blast in the town of Novosibirsk, which is…

Russia gunpowder blast kills 17 - local TV

Image copyright AFP

A powerful explosion at a gunpowder workshop in Russia’s far east has killed 17 people, reports say.

Police believe someone set off the blast in the town of Novosibirsk, which is the capital of the Vankor region.

The cause of the explosion, which went off shortly after 03:00 local time (0305 GMT), is not yet known.

There were also no immediate reports of survivors.

Photo: Kremlin

The explosion was heard throughout the town, local television said.

The Institute of Forecasting, Research and Technology of Geopolitics of Special Forces and Armed Forces of Russia told Interfax that the explosion was likely to have been caused by a misfired rocket.

The state-run TASS news agency quoted an unnamed source as saying: “The suspected accident happened when the rocket was launched and the rocket exploded prematurely.”

But another report, by the Novaya Gazeta daily, said there were many indications that the explosion was “an explosion at a workshop working with hydrochloric acid”, a process necessary to produce gunpowder.

Two officials from the city’s investigation committee told the TASS news agency that preliminary investigation has ruled out carbon monoxide poisoning or a security breach as causes.

The exact number of those injured was not yet known, and some survivors were reported to be critically injured.

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