Accident Reporting June 2019 – April 2020
09 April 2020
Kazakh munitions depot blasts (Kazakstan, 24 June 2019)
The Kazakh government ordered the evacuation of a town of 44,000 after a series of blasts at a nearby munitions depot killed one person and injured dozens. The blasts occurred at a military base near Arys in the former Soviet republic’s southern Turkestan province, which houses a large Soviet-era storage facility for explosive munitions. The cause of the fire which led to the explosions was unclear. Similar incidents in the area, in 2009, 2014 and 2015, were blamed on negligence and failure to observe safety regulations.
Videos posted by local residents showed frightened people staring at a giant cloud of smoke and dust rising from the site, accompanied by thunder-like noise of more munitions exploding. Another video showed agitated soldiers screaming profanities as they run out of the military base in full gear, stepping on shattered glass.
They can be seen stopping two cars on a nearby highway and ordering the drivers to take away several civilian women they had escorted out of the facility. The soldiers drop to the ground as more explosions are heard.
Provincial governor Umirzak Shukeyev told a briefing that one person has been killed and 31 injured. The authorities warned locals against trying to return to the town because unexploded shells could turn its streets into minefields. “The scale (of fires) is very large and this could go on for a few days,” Shukeyev said.
Another source provides maxar satellite imagery from before and after the explosions. One example is given below, more information can be found on the website.
Driver missing after explosives truck blows up (Australia, 27 July 2019)
A man is missing after his truck caught fire and blew up while carrying a haul of explosives in Western Australia's Mid West region. No further information about the explosives or damage was provided.
Ammunition depot explosion in Krasnoyarsk region (Russia, 5 August 2019)
Sources claim that an ammunition dump at a Russian military base in Siberia has exploded. Photos and videos showed the huge explosion that rocked a Russian military base in Siberia reportedly used to store more than 40,000 artillery shells of 125 and 152 mm caliber. The depot, according to the Russian defense ministry, held "gunpowder charges for artillery shells."
At least eight people were injured in the blast. Authorities are evacuating around 11,000 local residents who live within 20 km of the depot.
Explosion of rocket engine at naval base in Arkhangelsk region (Russia, 8 August 2019)
Sources report that two persons died and at least four others are injured after a rocket engine exploded at a naval base in Nyonoksa in Russia's northwestern Arkhangelsk region. The engine exploded while specialists were testing the engine's liquid propulsion system. The Nyonoksa range tests almost all missile systems used by the Russian navy, including sea-launched intercontinental ballistic missiles, cruise missiles, and anti-aircraft missiles.
Russia testing its nuclear-powered Burevestnik missile in February 2019.
The two people who died were civilian specialists, while the injured people consisted of military and civilian personnel. All victims were taken to hospital via helicopter. The conditions of the injured people are not known. Russia's defense ministry stressed that there were "no emissions of harmful substances into the atmosphere, the radiation background is normal"
Truck carrying 6,000 pounds of mining explosives overturns (Georgia, USA, 6 September 2019)
Sources report that a truck carrying 6,000 pounds of explosive components used to make dynamite overturned on Highway 53 east between Dawson Forest Road East and War Hill Park Road. Three other vehicles were involved. The crash was caused by a driver under the influence of drugs, losing control and crossed the center line, sideswiping the truck. The truck driver then lost control and flipped. Five gallons of explosive material spilled onto the highway.
Explosion in the Guanglong coal mine (China, 17 December 2019)
An explosion at a coal mine in south-west China has killed at least 14 people - the latest in a string of deadly mining accidents. The local authorities said two people were still trapped underground at the mine in Guizhou province. At least 37 people have died in five separate mining accidents in China since October 2019. The accidents are often due to poorly-enforced safety regulations. The explosion at the Guanglong mine in Guizhou province happened in the early hours of Tuesday 17 December. Seven workers were lifted to safety.
On Saturday 14 December, flooding in a coal mine in south-west China's Sichuan province killed five and trapped 13 miners underground. Some 347 miners were working in the Shanmushu mine when the flood happened. On 25 November 2019, one person died in an accident at a different mine in Guizhou province. Before that, a blast in northern China's Shanxi province killed 15 workers on 18 November 2019. At the time, officials said the accident was caused by "broken laws and regulations". In October 2019, two people were killed in a blast in a mine in Shandong province in eastern China.
The poor safety record and high accident rate in China's mining sector led to the government in November ordering a "crackdown" on safety issues, said the AFP news agency. But - despite the string of deadly accidents - mine safety is generally improving. Last year, 333 people died in Chinese mines - a decrease of 13% on the year before. Meanwhile, the "death per million tons of coal mined" fell to below 0.1 for the first time.
Explosion at army ammunition depot in Anantnag (India, 9 March 2020)
Two labourers were killed while two others injured in an explosion at an ammunition depot of the Army in Anantnag district of Jammu and Kashmir on Monday, police said. The explosion took place at Khundru in the south Kashmir district on Monday afternoon.
Khundru is one of the biggest ammunition depots in the Kashmir valley. There have been few such incidents in the past as well. In 2007, several people were killed in a fire which continued for days after an accidental blast at the depot.
Ammunition explosion on Kola (Russia, 22 March 2020)
The explosion happened at a weapons warehouse in Roslyakovo between Murmansk and Severomorsk. Regional media report that five military personnel are taken to hospital with “shrapnel wounds” after an artillery shell exploded during a loading and unloading operation.
The warehouse is located near the main road between Murmansk and Severomorsk, on the hill up from the shipyard. The navy’s press service was also quick to put the blame of the accident on the personnel, saying they “violated safety rules.”
Two of the five “are in serious conditions.” This was later refuted by a source at the scene of the accident, talking to local news online Severpost. The injured are all taken to the Northern Fleet’s main hospital in Severomorsk.
Roslyakovo is the town where shipyard No. 82 is located, infamous for the sinking of the largest floating dock in the Russian north, the PD-50, in October 2018. This is also the shipyard where the fire on board the ballistic missile submarine “Ekaterinburg” (K-84) happened in December 2011. Roslyakovo is south of Severomorsk in the Kola Bay. This ammunition explosion is the second serious accidental explosion with weaponry on the Kola Peninsula in March 2020.
On March 4th, five contract soldiers were injured as a drone carrying a bomb device crashed and exploded in the Pechenga district near Russia’s border to Norway. Also at that explosion, the involved soldiers were blamed for “grave violations” of security standards when they approached the crashed UAV.