16 dead in fire at India's biggest ammunition depotAt least 16 persons, including a lieutenant colonel and a major, were killed and 17 injured in a massive fire at India's largest ammunition depot in Maharashtra's Pulgaon town early Tuesday, 31st May 2016 raising questions about alleged safety violations that endanger human lives and arsenal stocks at dozens of such facilities in the country.
The cause of the blaze that started around 1 a.m. was not immediately known. The sprawling 7,000-acre depot, some 115 km from Nagpur, houses the country's biggest stockpile of weapons, including Brahmos missiles, AK47 rifles, other arms and ammunition, bombs and explosive items.
Director General Military Operations (DGMO) Lt. Gen. Ranbir Singh told reporters in Delhi that the fire was "doused completely" and the "situation brought under control". But not before two army officers, a soldier and 13 civilian fire fighters lost their lives.
The dead officers were identified as Lt. Col. R.S. Pawar and Major Mohan K. who were based at the depot.
Two more officers, nine soldiers and six civilian fire fighters were injured. They were taken to a hospital in Wardha where their condition was reported to be stable. The army revised its earlier death toll of 17.Prime Minister Narendra Modi condoled for the loss of lives in the tragedy. Defence Minister Manohar Parikkar visited the spot.