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16 dead, 14 injured in major fire at ammunition depot in Maharashtra
Mumbai, May 31, 2016
At least 16 people died and 14 others suffered injuries in a major fire that broke out in the early hours of today and triggered huge explosions at one of India's biggest ammunition depots at Pulgoan in Wardha district of Maharashtra.
Wardha district officials said the injured had been admitted to hospitals in Wardha town, about 30 km from Pulgaon, for treatment, official sources said.
The massive fire and the explosions that followed lit up the night sky in the town, located about 100 km from Nagpur.
The fire broke out in the Central Ammunition Depot around 1.30 am today and was brought under control by around 6 am today, they said.
The cause of the fire could not be immediately ascertained and would be established only after an inquiry, they said.
The sources said families living in accommodation near the depot were evacuated to safer places as a precautionary measure.
Fire brigade personnel worked throughout the night to bring the blaze under control.
Prime Minister Narendra Modi expressed grief over the loss of lives in the fire.
“Pained by loss of lives caused by a fire at central ammunition depot in Pulgaon, Maharashtra. My thoughts are with the bereaved families," he said on micro-blogging site Twitter
"I pray that those who are injured recover quickly," he said, adding that he had asked Defence Minister Manohar Parrikar to rush to the spot and take stock of the situation.
Chief of Army Staff Gen Dalbir Singh is also rushing to Wardha for an assessment of the situation, the sources added.