7 January - USA
100107-16-A Lubbock, TX - A Texas Tech graduate student was hospitalised at the University Medical Center (UMC) after he was burned in a chemical explosion on the campus. The victim received severe burns to his face and hands when nickel hydrazine perchlorate he was working with exploded at about 16:00. Cory Chandler, a spokesman for the university, said another student was taken to UMC with minor injuries. On January 19, the CSB said it would investigate the causes of the explosion. University officials told the CSB the accident occurred in the chemistry department during the handling of a high-energy metal compound, which suddenly detonated. Texas Tech had entered into an agreement with Northeastern University, which holds a contract from the Department of Homeland Security to study the high-energy materials. CSB Chairman John Bresland said: “We see serious accidents in high school and university labs every year, including a tragic fatality a year ago at UCLA. I believe it is time to begin examining these accidents to see if they can be prevented through the kind of rigorous safety management systems that we and others have advocated in industrial set-tings”. Mr. Bresland said the CSB planned to collect information on several laboratory accidents for a future study on the topic.
20 January - Iran
100120-02 - Bandar Abbas southern province of Hormozagan An explosion occurred around 09:00, damaging properties and leaving three people injured at a military base. Police and Security Chief of Hormozgan province Mohammad Hassan Poravar said: “Garbage collected at the base was set on fire, which caused the explosive charge to go off. Three people were wounded in the explosion. They have been taken to hospital for medical treatment and there has been no further damage. Nothing else happened, and the rumours going around in the city are all baseless and untrue". Fars News Agency, citing eyewitnesses, reported that several nearby houses sustained different levels of damage and fire broke out following the incident. According to eyewitnesses, shrapnel as big as a cellular phone and with a thickness of two centimetres flew by and landed in the yards of houses about 1 km away from the blast site.
3 February - Bulgaria
100203-02-B - Village of Gorni Lom Municipality of Chuprene. Midzhur Co. The National Medical Co-ordination Centre said four people were injured in an explosion at 18:12 at the Midzhur explosives plant. Two of the injured were released after a check-up in the hospital, but a 62-year-old man sustained a broken thigh bone and knee joint, and a 44-year-old man suffered head and eye injuries. He was rushed to Tsaritsa Yoanna hospital in Sofia. According to initial information, there might be land mines in the warehouse where the explosion occurred after a machine broke down and started a fire. Explosions were reported throughout the night. Interior Minister Tsvetan Tsvetanov said access to the building had been restricted. He said the fire broke out in a warehouse of a private firm, and the first explosion occurred in a building where 10 tonnes of ammonite were stored. Fire fighters arrived at the scene, but withdrew after the explosion. The fire had been contained, but the fire fighters will not enter the warehouse again until they find out whether there are other explosives in it. A crisis office was set up, headed by Commissary Nikolov, director of the National Fire Safety and Rescue Service. Lieutenant Colonel Nikolay Nikolov, director of the National Fire Safety and Rescue Service, said there was no danger for the residents of the village of Gorni Lom, and no people are in danger if there is a new explosion. Gorni Lom has 780 inhabitants, as 150 of them work in the Midzhur plant. Plamen Stefanov - District Governor of Vidin - said the population of the village can be evacuated, if necessary, although this measure is not needed at the moment. He added that: “The quality of the air is being measured every 30 minutes, and there are no departures from the norms, at the moment". On February 4, Bulgarian Deputy Minister of Defence, Valentin Radev, said the mines were stored according to all requirements. He said the mines are in the other part of the plant’s territory, and are not many in number. In addition, they were stored in a way ammunitions are stored in the army - in separate rooms, in separate warehouses, there is enough distance between them, and there is no connection to the production of these explosive materials. Radev said the explosion that occurred was due to fire that burst out from powder materials on the assembly line for explosive materials production, explaining: “Probably some machine on this installation has burnt out and some fire impulse occurred. This is the good outcome, since if there had been a detonation impulse, then the effect of the blast would have been much bigger because of the almost 10 tons of materials, which by the way make more than 2-3 tons of trotyl equivalent".
8 February - India
100208-04 Christianpettai near Katpadi in Vellore, Tamil Nadu. Tamil Nadu Industrial Explosives Limited (TEL). Seven employees, including a senior plant engineer and a senior technologist, of the Tamil Nadu Industrial Explosives Limited (TEL), were injured in an explosion on the factory premises while carrying out maintenance work. Managing Director of TEL, Mr Mohan, who called on the injured at the hospital, said that an explosive chemical called Penta Erytratol Tetra Nitrate [sic. Correctly: Pentaerythritol tetranitrate]. PETN used to be dissolved in a tank containing acetone as part of the explosive manufacturing process. He said that the employees were involved in carrying out maintenance work at shed number 504 of the factory, as the technical and administrative staff had been on strike for the last 13 days. Katpadi DSP Pattabi, who visited the spot and conducted preliminary investigations, said the workers were removing a 25-year-old dissolver, used to dissolve PETN in acetone solution, and were to replace it with a new one. When they were removing the bolts of the vessel that were fixed to the cement flooring, previously spilt PETN exploded and injured them, he said. They were rushed to the Christian Medical College Hospital within half an hour. PETN is quite difficult to detonate, but is shock sensitive. We wonder whether they were using a pneumatic drill or even a hammer and chisel. Once again, a lesson in the need for good hygiene: if the spill(s) had been properly cleaned up, there would have been no PETN present to explode [sic].
17 February - Portugal
100217-08 Parish of Taíde, Póvoa de Lanhoso, Braga district. Moura, Silva & Filhos S.A. Two people died, victims of an explosion that occurred in the explosives factory, located in Cima de Vila, in the parish of Taíde. The incident happened around 11:50, apparently as the two victims were destroying waste. Moura, Silva & Filhos, the factory where the explosion took place, employs about 50 people. According to Carlos Macedo, of the Associação Portuguesa dos Industriais de Pirotecnia e Explosivos (APIPE – Portuguese Association of Industrial Explosives and Pyrotechnics), the accident was in an area for burning waste. The two workers were standing on their own, burning such waste, a task that is done daily, and which is common to these type of companies. Carlos Macedo said: “This is the burning of small quantities of waste. The legislation requires the premises do the burning, especially for packages that come with returned explosives. There is specific legislation, and they cannot be held in any store. They have to be destroyed in a proper place, duly authorized by the National Directorate of PSP, and properly monitored and controlled”. He said the company has been in business for several years and has all the required licenses. Carlos Macedo also said that only after the inquiry by the Department of Arms and Explosives of the PSP will the causes of the explosion be known. Lt. Silva Pereira, acting commander of the DGND de Lanhoso, confirmed that the explosion resulted from the burning of some waste, in a proper structure for burning, and one that is in a secluded location. Lt. Silva Pereira said the explosive materials being burned included Gemulite [apparently a trade name belonging to the company], a material used in fracturing rock, which had been delivered, then returned to be burned. He said that burning of Gemulite alone does not cause an explosion.
1 March - South Korea
100301-02 Angangeup, Gyeongju, North Gyeong-sang. Poongsan Corporation. Two workers were killed in an explosion at a munitions plant in Angangeup. Police said the two victims, who were working in a detonator room at Poongsan Corporation, died instantly. The explosion, which occurred around 11:45, damaged half of the 60-square-metre (645-square-foot) plant. The cause of the explosion is not yet known. Police said the site of the explosion was a room where workers produce gunpowder detonators. The detonators are used with small-calibre ammunition designed for M16 rifles. At the time of the explosion, rain was falling heavily and no additional blast took place. An executive at the plant reportedly said: “Detonators almost never explode, so we can’t tell what the cause is now. We are going to investigate by sending the company’s security team to the scene. Police will also provide assistance". A police officer who requested anonymity said, “We will first examine security conditions in the room. We’re going to examine the site of the explosion, then question firm executives".
2 March - Spain
100302-09 Ceuta (Spanish enclave on the coast of Morocco) Blasting SL-Movements. Ten people were injured, three of them seriously, in an attempt to blow up excess material from dynamite blasting in an area near the border with Morocco, where the new city jail is being built. Sources in the Government Delegation in Ceuta reported that the explosion occurred just after 20:30, when the workers, all from the same company, were preparing to destroy the excess material from blasting performed to prepare the ground in the area near Fort Mendizabal, near the border with Morocco. The most seriously injured suffered second-degree burns, lost vision in one eye, had several fractures, and remained in the ICU at University Hospital of Ceuta in a very serious state. Two others remained serious in the ICU with multiple injuries.
The government delegate in Ceuta, Jose Fernandez Chacon announced the opening of an investigation to determine the causes of the explosion which he described as “illogical, there is no logical explanation for what happened, so it will be investigated to the last consequences”. The delegate said that the company in charge of blasting had taken all appropriate security measures for the destruction of surplus equipment at the site. The technicians came to destroy 450 kilos of riojel and 13 detonators that were left over out of 4,550 kg used. Fernandez confirmed that the company had all the necessary permits, and acknowledged that “it is a very strong company, reliable and very experienced in the use of explosives”.
3 March - Mexico
100303-08 Municipality of Tequila, Jalisco state A father and son received second- and third-degree burns over the whole body in an explosion which occurred while handling potassium nitrate in a grinder. The Public Safety Department of State (SSPE) reported that the incident occurred on the farm number 4 Calle Miguel Dominguez, at its intersection with the road to La Mula, in the colony of the same name. The official report issued by the agency said the injured people told the city police that they were grinding the acid [sic] in a mill, when the latter suffered from a short circuit that generated a spark, which in turn caused the explosion.
6 March - Montenegro
100306-03 Nikšic, northern Montenegro. Buster plc- A worker lost his right hand in an explosion in a former army depot near the town of Nikšic. Two other workers employed by the Buster company were also hurt when an aerial bomb exploded during an attempt to disarm it. Their injuries were described as minor. Montenegro’s MoD stated in Podgorica that the Trubjela depot was given over to Buster, which undertook to dispose of the surplus and obsolete weapons found there.
13 March - Ukraine
100313-02-A Village of Hruzevytsya, Khmelnyt-skyy Region. Ukroboronservis A fire caused the detonation of ammunition at the state-run Ukroboronservis enterprise. One man was slightly injured. The press service of the Emergencies Ministry said that the fire started at around 13:00 GMT. According to preliminary reports, small calibre explosive ammunition for aircraft detonated in the fire. The fire was put out at 14:10. On March 15 it was reported that the incident occurred when 23-millimetre shells stored in crates at the company’s warehouse were being loaded, and spontaneous ignition of one of the crates caused the shell detonation.
14 March - India
100314-04 Pokhran, Jaisalmer district, state of Rajasthan. In an accident apparently caused by defective ammunition, four private soldiers were killed and three others injured when the barrel of a 81mm mortar burst at the Pokhran field firing range. The incident occurred when the victims, belonging to the Maratha Light Infantry, and Jammu and Kashmir Light Infantry units, from the 35 Brigade based in Delhi, were taking part in routine night-firing exercises. While one of the jawans died on the spot, three others succumbed to injuries on the way to the Jodhpur military hospital. The condition of the three injured was stated to be serious. There has been heavy criticism of frequent incidents due to old munitions. Following the December 2001 attack on
the Parliament in New Delhi, over a million mines were laid along the Indo-Pakistan border. Scores of soldiers lost their lives in the mining and subsequent de-mining operations, with several of the accidents being caused by the poor quality of some mines and fuses held in the inventory for a long time. In March 2008, three soldiers were also killed in a “mortar burst” during the large-scale Brazen Chariots exercise at Pokhran. [See HInt 08-03, 080320-06]. A 125-mm mortar exploded as the personnel were firing it for a live demonstration while the army’s top brass, defence attaches and diplomats from foreign countries were watching the exercise.
19 March - Mexico
100319-14 Atequizayán, Municipality of Zapotlán El Grande, Jalisco state One person was killed and one injured by the explosion of a magazine on the Olot estate. The State Unit of Civil Protection and the Ciudad Guzmán Fire Command provided the necessary aid. While both the judiciary and the expert from the Jalisco Institute of Forensic Sciences did their work, staff of the Civil Protection Unit and Fire cordoned off the scene to prevent any risk. The cause of the accident is not yet known.
22 March - India
100322-05 Tavarekere village, Ramanagaram disrict, 40 km from Bangalore. Two people died as explosives they were carrying on a motorcycle detonated. The police suspect that the explosive material was ammonium nitrate gel sticks, used for quarrying, but the nature of the material is yet to be ascertained by the Forensic Scientific Laboratory (FSL). An FSL officer suggested the explosion may have occurred since the explosives were placed on the fuel tank of the vehicle and the heat could have been the
triggering factor. Police said the victims held a licence under the Indian Explosives Act, but were ignorant about the perils of handling explosive material. The two men had violated rules of transportation of explosives. The incident occurred at 13:45 when two people identified as Yelumalai and Arun Kumar were about a kilometre from Tavarekere village. Arun Kumar was riding his motorcycle, and Yelumalai was the pillion rider. The explosives went off suddenly and the two men died on the spot with their bodies being torn into several pieces. Yelumalai’s body was found 50 metres away from the blast spot. Arun Kumar’s head was flung 500 metres away from the spot while the body fell 100 metres away, torn into several pieces. The vehicle was destroyed.
BG Bisenahalli, superintendent of police, Ramanagaram district, said the place where the incident happened belonged to a retired Colonel Kaira, who had bought 80 acres of land in Chikkaveeranannapalya: “The owner was developing the place into a layout and had given the contract to a developer identified as Lakshman, who owned Raynal Realtors, and the office is situated at the spot. They used to bring gelatin sticks and store them in the office and use it to blast the quarry to develop the lay-out".
26 March - India
100326-04 Panagarh, Durgapur sub-division, Bardhaman district, West Bengal. An ammunition depot caught fire at the army base in Panagarh. An army spokesman said the fire broke out around 01:15 at the sixteenth shed of the depot that contained small arms, ammunition and explosives. The army’s own crisis management team, headed by Colonel A.D. Sethi, led the fire-fighting, and the blaze was brought under control in about two hours. It was completely doused around 04:30. Wing Commander Mahesh Upasani, the chief public relations officer of the army in the eastern region, said: “There was no loss of life and no one was injured. A team led by a major general (in charge of ordnance) has gone to the spot to ascertain the cause of the fire and
extent of damage. We kept small arms, ammunition and explosives in that shed”. According to defence sources, nearly 200 tonnes of small arms, explosives and shells were destroyed.
29 March - USA
100329-03 Hopewell, near Asheville, NC. The Asheville Police Department Hazardous Device Team said it “was caught off guard by the power unleashed from some decaying dynamite and fertilizer they removed from a Madison County barn”. The 148 sticks of dynamite had leaked into several pounds of fertilizer, creating an explosion that blasted a 30-foot-wide hole in a hillside near where it was found. The explosion tossed up a ton of dirt, showering it on nearby cars and houses. Windows were shattered in the nearest house and the siding above the porch was ripped off by the shock wave. Asheville Bomb Squad Lt. Wally Welch said: “I really didn’t expect that old dynamite to have such explosive force". He had detonated the explosives more than 60 yards from the house, which had seemed a safe distance. The EOD squad had been called to the farm in the Hopewell community to deal with the decaying fertilizer and dynamite found in a barn owned by the family of a former dynamite expert. Madison County Sheriff Buddy Harwood contacted the EOD squad after the homeowner called his office to report the unstable chemicals. Arnold Bullman, who had discovered the dynamite, said it had belonged to his father, who worked for the state blasting rock for 46 years. Harwood said: “He used to shoot rocks for the state".
2 April - Brazil
100402-08 Lorena, São Paulo state. Orica. An explosion at the Orica factory frightened residents of Loena, but caused no injuries. A warehouse at the factory, which produces controlled explosives for sale, exploded shortly after 22:00. Workers were on the third shift at the time of the accident, but according to Orica, there was no-one at the site where the material exploded. According to the Guaratinguetá district Fire Department, there were no casualties, and only structural damage was found. The event ended at around 02:30 the next morning.
22 April - Bosnia
100422-05 Mount Igman, South of Sarajevo. An explosion killed a land mine clearance expert and seriously wounded another. Police said that the two were clearing mines at Mt. Igman, south of Sarajevo. The injured man was hospitalized with several pieces of shrapnel in his neck and face, but the injuries were not life threatening. According to official estimates, some 220,000 mines and other explosives are still hidden in the ground throughout Bosnia, covering about 600 square miles (1,550 square kilometres). That means some 3.5 per cent of Bosnia’s territory remains mined, threatening the lives of almost one million people, or one-third of the population. Since the end of the 1992-95 war over 1,600 Bosnians – including almost 100 mine clearing experts – have been killed by mines.
24 April - Germany
100424-08 Urberach, near Rödermark, Hessen. Ammunition from World War II probably blew up in a forest fire in Urberach. At first, the fire-fighters thought it was a conventional forest fire, but when they heard shots in the fire, they drew back and extinguished it from a distance. The water supply was ensured by a shuttle service from the fire trucks of Urberach and Ober-Roden. Because of the high water consumption, additional large water tankers were requested from Dreieich-Sprendlingen and Dietzenbach. The fire departments from Rödermark were on site with nine vehicles and 30 emergency services personnel. The fire was out by 19.30. The cartridges exploded where some 3,000 square metres of forest floor were in flames. The fire departments immediately alerted the bomb disposal team, which ordered the fire-fighters to withdraw to a safe distance. No one was injured. The fire-fighters had been called to the fire in Urberach at 13:08. but due to inaccurate location information in the first alarm, the police helicopter was called in to search the place. A careful cyclist was faster. Several crews fought the fire from two sides until they heard shots in the flames. An anonymous caller told local media that these were not munitions from the Second World War, but from the Rote Armee Fraktion (RAF – Red Army Faction), an urban terrorist group that operated between 1970 and 1998.
28 April - China
100428-02-A Tiemen Township, Xin’an County, Henan Province. At least three were confirmed dead after a farmer’s home exploded at around 18:30. According to the preliminary investigation by local police, the explosion was caused by illegal storage of explosives. The police were conducting further investigation into the case. A resident of the county surnamed Huang rented the farmer’s house to store explosives and planned to use them for illegal mining, said a spokesperson of the county government. Huang and the farmer’s two family members were killed on the scene. The farmer and Huang’s daughter and son-in-law were detained by the police.
28 April - Italy
100428-04 Piacenza, province of Piacenza (PC), Emilia-Romagna region. A WWII bomb exploded prematurely during an operation to defuse it not far from the city of Piacenza in northern Italy. The bomb was US-made and contained 80 kg of phosphorus. It went off while being put on a truck to take it to a safer place for deactivation. The head of the sappers’ team said: “It was a miracle that nobody suffered. It seemed like everything was under control, but had the bomb exploded several seconds earlier there might have been victims.” It was later determined that only a small part of the explosive got burnt. After a thorough examination the operation was continued and the rest of the bomb was successfully deactivated in a remote place.
4 May - Portugal
100504-01-B Canidelo district, Vila do Conde. JMML. At least one person died in an explosion at 13.10 in the JMML pyrotechnics factory located in a residential neighbourhood of Canidelo in Vila do Conde. Another person was injured seriously and one child, who was in a nursery near the unit, suffered minor injuries. The National Authority for Civil Protection confirmed on their website hat it had registered one victim. According to SIC News, this was a factory worker who thrown by the violence of the explosion. Local media said the deceased was a Ukrainian citizen, who worked at the company that owns the lockers where the explosion occurred. The force of the explosion caused damage to several homes near the factory, especially to windows and roofs, and fire officials asked residents to move away from the site due to the danger of further explosions. On May 11, Jose Carneiro, manager of the technical pyrotechnics company, said that the company will not pay for any damages caused to the environment. He said the Board that licensed building construction and occupancy next to the plant is responsible, and admitted that he did not even have insurance. JMML believes that “the Board is responsible” for failing to enforce the protection radius around the plant, which will no longer be operating. Carneiro said: “Whoever licensed the buildings should pay the damages. The company has a radius of protection of 322 metres, where there can be no construction. That is the law. When we started the business here in 1959, there were no buildings here.” Jose Carneiro explained that, when setting up the company, there was a notice published in the House and the Parish Council and “no one ever objected”. With license No. 599, issued by what is now called the Department of Arms and Explosives of the National Directorate of PSP, JMML began operations, dding: “In 1987, we were forced to relocate the fuse area, due to the proximity of the school. At the time it was the only building that existed.” According to Carneiro, the plant moved away from the school, but to no avail: “The houses started to be built one after the other, getting closer. We always informed the National Directorate of the PSP that the houses were in the range of protection.” As for the 820 kg of gunpowder seized in the factory, which was only licensed to store 300 kg in its storerooms, Jose Carneiro admitted guilt, but said it was “non-compliant material waiting to be returned”, which ensures that the company was working “so perfectly legal”.
4 May - USA
100504-17 Milan, TN. American Ordnance. An explosion at the Milan Army Ammunition Plant sent two people to the hospital. The accident occurred at about 17:10, according to a Milan Arsenal news release. Neither Army officials nor employees of American Ordnance, which operates the facility, could be reached for comment. One of the employees was sent to Regional Medical Centre in Memphis for injuries to his left hand, the release stated. The other worker was taken to Humboldt General Hospital for evaluation, and was released.
5 May - USA
100505-03-A Huntsville, AL. US Army. Amtech Corp. Two contract workers died after being injured in an explosion while removing a propellant from rockets at Redstone Arsenal, where the Army conducts missile and weapons research. The public affairs office at the post in Huntsville said the two died after being flown to the burn unit at UAB Hospital in Birmingham. Base officials said both worked for a Redstone contractor, Amtech Corp., and were injured in an explosion at 08:45 while removing ammonium perchlorate, an oxidizer, from rockets at a test site. A third worker was nearby but escaped harm, and there was no environmental impact from the accident, the Army said. A statement from Deputy Public Affairs Officer Kim Henry said the building recently passed safety inspections and was designed to minimize the impact of possible explosions, but “the work that we perform is inherently dangerous work”. On May 10, Maj. Gen. James Myles, commanding general of Redstone Arsenal and also commander of the Aviation and Missile Life Cycle Management Command, said a team of experts was being assembled for an exhaustive investigation into the explosion. He warned against expecting a quick report: “We are getting the best and brightest minds in this country to participate in this accident investigation. We’re going to take our time. We’re going to go through every element of what occurred at Building 7352 and we’re going to understand all of it.” The victims were refining a new process to separate ammonium perchlorate from other elements in missile fuel, said Paul Turner, Amtec’s associate director for Propulsion Technology. Their work was part of a program to determine whether a high grade of ammonium perchlorate could be removed from old or unneeded missiles for use in new systems.
8 May - Pakistan
100508-04 Hangu, Northwest Frontier Province. Four policemen were injured when a rocket launcher went off accidentally in Hangu. According to sources, a convoy of an oil and gas exploration company was travelling with a police escort when the police vehicle crossed a speed breaker at the Thal Road, due to which a rocket launcher fell from the hands of a policeman and went off. As a result, four policemen were injured. Police officials, however, said the blast occurred due to a remote controlled bomb,
which had targeted the oil company.
11 May - New Zealand
100511-01 Waiouru, North Island. New Zealand Defence Force. A soldier was injured in a training accident at Waiouru when a round exploded in a machine gun he was firing. The NZ Defence Force said in a statement: “During a live firing field exercise the soldier received a shoulder injury when he was struck by a bullet casing while operating his weapon.” He was in a stable condition and has been transferred to hospital for further treatment. Major Kristian Dunne said the soldier was using a C-9 machine gun, a weapon used widely across the Defence Force. Major Dunne said the soldier’s unit had responded quickly, getting the man back to base before he was transferred to hospital. The soldier, a member of the Royal New Zealand Engineer Regiment, was recovering in Palmerston North hospital with moderate injuries to his shoulder. Major Dunne said he could not recall a similar incident. An inquiry would now look in to the possible causes.
12 May - Lebanon
100512-10 Tiri, near Sidon. Eleven French soldiers serving with the UN peacekeeping force in southern Lebanon were injured, one of them seriously, when a rocket accidentally exploded inside their camp. Lieutenant Sylvain Bedouet, spokesman for the
French battalion, said: “The incident happened when soldiers handling an anti-tank rocket accidentally set off the firing mechanism.” He said one soldier suffered serious wounds to his face and was immediately flown by helicopter to a hospital in the nearby coastal city of Sidon. He said four other soldiers suffered minor shrapnel wounds and seven damage to their hearing. The 1,500-strong French battalion serving with the United Nations Interim Force in Lebanon (UNIFIL) is based in the village of Tiri, some eight kilometres (five miles) from the Israeli border.
12 May - India
100512-12 Bamhori, Sagar, Madhya Pradesh. Nine soldiers were injured, two of them critically, when a mortar exploded accidentally at an Army firing range near Bamhori. A mortar being test fired exploded midway, injuring nine soldiers. A senior army officer said on condition of anonymity that the two critically injured soldiers were airlifted to Delhi, while the rest of the injured were admitted to Sagar district hospital.
13 May - China
100513-09 Anping county, Hebei province. Five people were killed and two injured in an explosion after a truck transporting black powder caught fire. According to the local government, the truck carrying black powder caught fire and blew up after it was “exposed to a stretch of electrical wire during transportation”. Local government officials rushed to the scene and began their rescue work. The two injured were in stable condition and the cause of the explosion is under investigation.
14 May - USA
100514-03-A Colebrook, NH. Black Mag Industries, a subsidiary of Millennium Muzzleloaders (MDM). At least two people were killed in an explosion at an ammunition plant. The factory reportedly employed six people, but officials have not said how many were in the building at the time of the explosion, which happened just before 13:30. The plant makes “synthetic gunpowder for certain types of firearms”. The material is said to be “less explosive than regular gunpowder”.
An eyewitness reported that there were two explosions, with a second one occurring minutes later. She said the first one shook her house, and she got up to see smoke coming out of the plant. She said that after the second explosion she could hear “a
hissing and whizzing sound” followed by pops. Ammunition could be heard exploding until 15:00, making it impossible for fire-fighters to get close. Owned by Craig Sanborn of Maidstone, Vermont, MDM opened the plant in Colebrook Industrial Park early in 2009, and got a $170,000 Economic Development Administration grant in July. At that time, it was reported that Sanborn said employees would travel to Florida to learn how to make BlackMag, a “safe” black powder that uses a citrus-based formula
instead of sulphur. In January, a sub-contractor suffered burns at the plant while working on a piece of machinery that processes gunpowder. That incident “is of interest” to investigators.
17 May - USA
100517-06 Point Pleasant, Mason County, WV. Division of Natural Resources (DNR). High Performance Ammunitions. The Division of Natural Resources’ wildlife office reported an explosion at 01:13 in the McClintic Wildlife Management Area just north of Point Pleasant. Mason County emergency officials said no injuries were reported.
The DNR owns several concrete bunkers that are covered with earth and grass, and were once used for storing explosives during World War II. Spokesman Hoy Murphy said the bunkers are leased out to businesses for legal storage. Paul Cross, an agent with the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives in Charleston, said a businessman was storing different types of gunpowder for resale in the bunker that blew up, adding: “Over time and with heat it deteriorates and it can become unstable. We’re pretty sure that’s what happened. It got warm and it’s been in there several years.” Cross said the businessman estimates the powder’s value at $100,000. A fire caused by the explosion was out by the time Point Pleasant fire-fighters arrived, Fire Chief Jeremy Bryant said. According to local media, the bunker was leased by Richard King, of High Performance Ammunitions, which is based in Pittsburgh. King lives in Point Pleasant. King said he was storing military issued propellant or gunpowder
that he bought in surplus and then broke apart and sold. He reportedly said it is not as highly explosive as dynamite but, when heated, can build up a lot of pressure until it eventually explodes. King also said that at one time he was storing as much as 100,000 pounds of gunpowder, but at the time of the explosion there was only about 15,000 to 20,000 pounds.
24 May - USA
100524-05 Rocket Center, WV. Allegany Ballistics Laboratory. Alliant Technical Systems (ATK). Two Alliant workers reportedly received minor injuries in an explosion around 16:40 at the 1,628-acre facility located in Mineral County. Gary Geiger, communications manager for ATK’s missile products group, said in a news release: “The explosion occurred in a remotely operated production mix facility in the energetics portion of the plant. No one was in the building at the time of the explosion. Two employees who were working in a nearby building (were) being treated for minor injuries at a local hospital and are expected to be released today. Other employees were treated on-site by the facility’s medical staff.”
The Allegany Ballistics Laboratory, situated on the site of a former ammunitions plant and employs about 1,000 people from the tri-state area. The facility is under contract with the Naval Sea Systems Command and operated by ATK. The last major explosion at the facility occurred in 1981, killing two workers and leaving a crater where a building had once stood. There had been two prior explosions between ABL’s founding in 1944 and that time.
24 May - Pakistan
100524-06 Bara Tehsil, Khyber Agency. An explosion occurred at an ammunition store in a fort of the Frontier Corps (FC) in the Bara tehsil [sub-district], causing no loss of life. Security sources said that the explosion occurred due to the hot weather, and although the structure was damaged, there were no casualties.
25 May - Pakistan
100525-09 Islamabad. A police official detected smoke coming out of an explosives container in the Bhara Kahu police station. The container had some 620 kilograms of explosives material that had been seized by the police in February 2010. The police officials acted in a timely manner to prevent the explosives from catching fire. On the directions of the bomb disposal squad and the fire brigade officials, the stacks of explosives giving smoke were pulled out and buried under sand. The Bhara Kahu Police claimed that the explosives were heating up due to extremely hot weather and could have easily caught fire within a few minutes if the smoke had not be detected. Major Tabassum, head of the Bomb Disposal Squad, said that 600-700 kg of explosives was a huge amount. However, he ruled out the possibility of high explosives catching fire due to intense heat, saying high explosives always need detonation, but this could be provided if low explosives caught fire. The explosives in the Bhara Kahu police station could not only destroy the whole police station, the resulting explosion could also damage the nearby public property since the police station is located in a populated area.
2 June - Indonesia
100602-02 Turen area, Malang district, East Java. PT Pindad. Three people were killed in an explosion at a detonator-making plant owned by state arms maker PT Pindad. Three people sustained light injuries in the explosion. Several military officials are scheduled to inspect the scene of explosion, and a forensic team from the East Java provincial police will look into the cause of the explosion which also destroyed the building. The detonator-making plant is jointly operated by PT Pindad and state-owned explosives maker PT Dahana. The three were making detonators when the explosion occurred.
2 June - USA
100602-05 Bend, OR. Nosler Inc. No injuries were reported from a fire and explosion at the Nosler bullet plant in Southwest Bend. Bend Fire crews were dispatched to a pull station alarm at the Nosler facility at 14:05. There were reports of smoke in the building. Minutes later there was an explosion, according to Bend Deputy Fire Marshall Jeff Bond. Witnesses said the explosion occurred in an ammunition testing area, but authorities were still investigating its cause. Bond said about 10 percent of the 80,000-square-foot building collapsed. The one-floor structure has a test shooting range in the basement, but Bond said he did not know where the fire began. He said an extensive investigation will be conducted by the fire department, law enforcement agencies, and the federal Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives. Witnesses said work was underway in the ballistics tunnel, a testing area for ammunition, when there was a flash, followed by an explosion. The plant manufactures hunting ammunition.
5 June - Mexico
100605-01 Huajuapan de León, Oaxaca state. A loud explosion and a smell of gunpowder caused dozens of local people to flee in panic. Law enforcement and national emergency committee, state police, municipal police, and fire brigade were alerted and arrived at the place, immediately cordoned-off the area, noticing that the explosion took place in a private home. Early reports are that the explosion was occurred at approximately 03:55 and was due to gunpowder that was stored secretly, and which the intense heat caused the explosion, generating a blast wave which damaged several nearby houses.
6 June - Russia
100606-06 Tambov, Tambov Oblast. An investigation is underway after an accident at a Tambov gunpowder plant killed one worker and injured another. Preliminary reports suggest that an explosion occurred within an acid extraction centrifuge, but a police spokesman said: “Powder pressing equipment got depressurized at 4:30 a.m. There was no explosion or fire.” The injured worker was taken to an intensive unit at the local hospital, with a serious hand injury. The Tambov gunpowder plant specializes in nitro-cellulose powder and propellants for small arms, aviation, marine, artillery, tank armament systems, gunpowder for sporting and hunting ammunition.
8 June - USA
100608-09 Saratoga Springs, UT. Dyno Nobel. A building at the Dyno Nobel complex in Saratoga Springs was destroyed by fire. The administrative building at the explosives plant houses a laboratory, where a fire apparently started shortly after 18:00. The building contained several chemicals, which made it too dangerous for fire-fighters to combat the flames. Saratoga Springs Fire Chief Tim Hay said: “There was no life in danger and no residences, so we let the structure burn.” Fire-fighters entered about 02:00, and planned to stay on scene throughout the day putting out hot spots and monitoring the building.
10 June - Russia
100610-06 Buryatia region, Siberian Military District (SIBVO). Three Russian soldiers were killed when ammunition inside their T-72 tank exploded in the gun turret during exercises on a Siberian firing range. Valery Sheblanin, a spokesman for the Siberian Military District, said a high-level investigation was underway into the cause of the explosion, adding: “The head of the Siberian Military District, Lieutenant General Vladimir Chirkin, is personally overseeing an investigation on the scene.”
11 June - Denmark
100611-01 Varde, 20km north of Esbjerg, Jutland. Two Danish soldiers were killed in a mortar explosion while taking part in a shooting drill before their deployment to Afghanistan. Brig. Gen. Michael Lollesgaard said two more soldiers were slightly injured as troops were training to fire mortars. Later, the army said it had decided to suspend the use of 60mm mortars, both at home and in Afghanistan, where Denmark’s 700 service members use them. The accident occurred at the Oxboell camp near Varde. The two dead soldiers were part of the Royal Life Guards and were preparing for the infantry unit’s deployment to southern Afghanistan in August. The troops died during a shooting exercise, Lollesgaard said, but would not elaborate on the cause of the explosion that killed them.
13 June - USA
100613-09 Poteet, TX. A fire broke out in an ammunition warehouse. Inside the warehouse, fire-fighters said they found 50 pounds of gunpowder, along with ammunition and “chemicals, like propane, and a mix of tanks and gas”. It took fire-fighters several hours to contain the fire. No injuries were reported, but two fire-fighters were treated for smoke inhalation.
13 June - Colombia
100613-11 Los Patios Cúcuta, a town in the metropolitan area of Cúcuta, North Santander Department. A man was killed and eight others injured around 09:45 when gunpowder he was carrying exploded as he rode on a motorcycle of low cylinder capacity. Witnesses said several passers-by were injured by the blast, which caused the immediate death of the motorcyclist, who apparently carried a jar of gunpowder fuses between his legs. However, witnesses who knew the deceased said he came on foot and ad the fuses in a sack, which he dumped on the sidewalk, causing the explosion, wounding bystanders, and causing considerable damage to the bike parked on the road. Colonel Jorge Iván Flórez, Metropolitan Police Commander of Cucuta, said the accident could have been caused by the friction of the fuses, “which consist of black powder and red phosphorus”. Colonel Flórez said: “We have found that the man was a resident of the barrio La Cumbre, Los Patios, and was known because he was dedicated to the development of fuses for establishments where they practice shuffleboard.” He denied that it was an attack on a group of soldiers who at that time conducting a checkpoint near the site of the explosion.
14 June - Poland
100614-07 Warsaw. Military University of Technology. Two people were injured as a result of an explosion at the Military University of Technology in Warsaw during an explosives lesson. Jerzy Markowski, spokesman from the Military University of Technology, said: “The blast happened at 8.45 CET during a class on explosives.” A student and a lecturer who were injured as a result of the explosion were taken to hospital. They were conscious, but it has not been revealed whether their injuries were life threatening. The main building remained intact, as the class was being run in a concrete bunker. A special commission is investigating the cause of the accident.
17 June - China
100617-07 Donghu Town, Jilin Province. At least seven people were killed in a lightning-triggered explosion at a quarry in northeast China. The explosion happened at the Yongxin Quarry in Donghu Town when lightning hit detonators arranged for quarrying operations. The explosion buried eight workers under debris. Only one survived. He was injured and has been hospitalized. There were still detonators buried at the private quarry, which was ordered to suspend operations pending a safety overhaul, rescuers said.
23 June - Russia
100623-03 Ryazan, Ryazan province. One person was killed and at least 24 injured when ammunition exploded at a military training facility in central Russia. The accident occurred around 13:00 Moscow time as two Kamaz trucks with old ammunition were being unloaded. Col. Alexei Kuznetsov said the explosion at the Ryazan artillery school, about 200 km southwest of Moscow, could have been caused by the spontaneous combustion of gunpowder. A similar incident occurred on November 13, 2009, at an arms depot in the city of Ulyanovsk, in Russia’s Volga region. [See HInt 09-11, 091113-01.] Two people were killed and dozens injured in an explosion and subsequent fire at the depot. Just 10 days later a new explosion occurred at the same depot, when military servicemen were loading burnt ammunition into trucks. Eight servicemen were killed and two were injured in the blast. [See HInt 09-11, 091123-04.]
29 June - Spain
100629-05 Valdemoro (Madrid). Duque de Ahumada Guardia Civil College. Guardia Civil officer lost his life whilst teaching trainee officers how to handle explosives. He was in the basement of the Duque de Ahumada Guardia Civil College when an explosion occurred and the building went up in flames. 2nd Lt. Francisco [M] had worked in the Bomb Deactivation Service since 1973. The officer was with six students and two instructors at the time, who attempted to put the flames out with fire extinguishers. When they were unable to do so, they decided to make their escape. The deceased was a reservist with the Guardia Civil, Spain’s national militarized police force.
3 July - Russia
100703-09-B Near Biysk, Altai Territory. Sibpribormash. An explosion at a military base in southern Siberia killed at least six soldiers. Two military engineers – a major, and a lieutenant-colonel – along with four employees of a local munitions company died in the explosion which occurred as they were transporting gunpowder and munitions – possibly outdated material, due for disposal – on a truck in the military area. The truck was destroyed. The incident occurred on July 3, but was not reported until July 5. On July 6, it was reported that workers dismantling defective ammunition with a chain saw caused the explosion. The Investigative Committee confirmed that two of the dead were military officers, while the rest worked for Sibpribormash, a defence company that owned the ammunition. Sibpribormash said the firing range belonged to the Interior Ministry, but the Ministry said it did not own it any more. Investigators were unable to clarify the issue.
4 July - China
100704-01 Lishui City, Zhejiang Province. An explosion occurred in a police building, injuring three civilians who were passing by. The explosion occurred at about 08:03 in a waste explosive warehouse on the sixth floor of the building housing the Public Security Bureau of Qingtian County. Police said three civilians who were walking past the building were cut by glass shards following the explosion. Two of the civilians have since been discharged from a local hospital while a third remained hospitalized for treatment of a serious head wound.
13 July - USA
100713-01-A Huntsville, AL. Redstone Arsenal. Officials at Redstone Arsenal were investigating a fire that broke out in Building 7298, in Redstone’s Test Center. No one was hurt. The fire started at 11:55. Flames caused partial damage to the building, but fire-fighters worked quickly to prevent the fire from spreading. Arsenal officials were assessing the damage. They have not said what caused the fire. On July 15, it was reported that RTC personnel were conducting a Hellfire missile test at the time the fire was reported. Arsenal spokeswoman, Kim Henry, said regular “Stockpile Reliability Testing” is done to assure that soldiers’ weapons are ready for combat. As part of standard procedures in this kind of incident, an Explosives Ordnance Disposal unit from Fort Campbell, Kentucky, arrived on the night of July 13 and confirmed the fire was out. On July 14, they examined the area and set up operations to begin safely removing any explosive materials from the scene. Henry said the team was expected to begin the work that night and complete it midday on July 15, adding: “In the meantime – to maintain absolute safety – all incident-response personnel will continue to remain at a safe distance". A team will be assembled to assess damage and investigate the cause of the fire.
20 July - USA
100720-02-A Hooks, TX. Day & Zimmermann. A worker at Lone Star Army Ammunition Plant (LSAAP) was critically injured when a grenade exploded. Officials said the woman was holding the grenade when it went off. She suffered injuries to the upper part of her body, including her arms and face. She was airlifted to LSU Hospital in Shreve-port, where she was listed in critical condition. Day & Zimmermann is the contractor that operates LSAAP.
20 July - Austria
100720-11 Matrei, Osttirol. A worker was killed in an explosion at a construction site near the Obertaxer Alm. A load of explosives suddenly exploded, and an excavator operator from Neukirchen am Großvenediger (Salzburg) was blown to pieces. How the accident at the construction site occurred is not yet clear. Franz Riepler of the police department Matrei said an explosives expert and police investigators flew by helicopter to the crash site at 1,600 metres above sea level. The workers on the Obertaxer Alm, near the Felber Tauern, were working to build a safety wall. According to initial findings, the worker should have drilled, using a special excavator, some holes for the explosives in the ground, but they unexpectedly blew up.
1 August - Germany
100801-01 Niederdorfelden, Hessen. For still unknown reasons several 125-gallon drums of nitro-cellulose granules detonated at a chemical company in Niederdorfelden, and the fire spread to the entire warehouse. Seventy fire-fighters Niederdorfelden, Schöneck and Maintal quickly brought the fire under control. Nobody was injured. According to police, nitrocellulose is explosive, but does not release any toxic substances.
3 August - UK
100803-07 Aldermaston, Berkshire. Atomic Weapons Establishment (AWE). A fire started in a building in the nonnuclear explosives manufacturing section of the site at about 21:00. AWE manufactures and maintains warheads for the UK’s nuclear deterrent on behalf of the Ministry of Defence. Fire crews from the complex and six crews from the Royal Berkshire Fire and Rescue Service were called to tackle the fire, which was out by 08:00 the following morning. One male worker from AWE Aldermaston sustained minor injuries. While the fire crews tackled the blaze, 14 residents of Red Lane, which borders the northern end of the site, were evacuated to the Aldermaston Manor hotel or the Apollo Hotel in Basingstoke. They were allowed to return to their homes by 10:00 the next morning. AWE announced it will commission an independent inquiry. The results will be sent to local authority members as well as the Nuclear Installations Inspectorate, which is part of the Health and Safety Executive. Robin McGill, chief executive at AWE said: “We will make our findings public by briefing the AWE Local Liaison Committee which is made up of representatives of local authorities in Hampshire and Berkshire". Earlier in the day a spokesman for AWE said: “A full investigation into the causes of the incident, which has no radiological implications, will be undertaken. The Ministry of Defence and AWE’s regulators have been informed".
1 September - USA
100901-03 Near Johnson City, TN. (www.johnsoncitypress.com/News/Article.php?ID=80632). Widener Reloading and Shooting Supply Inc. An ammunition storage facility exploded just after 10:00. No one was injured in the blast, according to Johnson City Interim Fire Chief Mark Finucane. The building, owned by Stan Widener, housed materials he used in his business, Widener Reloading and Shooting Supply Inc. Officials said no one was at the building at the time, but Widener was near enough to hear the blast and met emergency responders to take them to the site. Because of the condition of the driveway, the only fire vehicle able to get to the location was a brush truck, designed for off-road and rough terrain. Finucane said: “The owner escorted our personnel back to assess what we had. What we found was a 30-by-30 metal frame building that suffered heavy damage from what appeared to be an explosion. We determined that inside the building was ammunition casings and fireworks. The cause of the fire has yet to be determined. Law enforcement is on the scene and they are looking at the scene as a criminal investigation until further notice". Finucane said that the fire would burn itself out. The location was remote enough to not present a danger to residents or structures.
6 September - Chile
100906-07-A Tierra Valenzuela, province of Atofagasta, Soquimich. Several men were killed when explosives detonated near the Elenita mine in the Chilean province of Antofagasta in the north of the country. The incident occurred around 16:30 in the mining district known as Tierra Valenzuela, about 120 kilometres from the regional capital, also called Antofagasta. On September 7, police said six people died when a cargo of industrial explosives detonated while being transferred from one truck to another. There was no collision. Police said initially that four were killed. The dead men worked for potassium nitrate miner Soquimich and were transporting a cargo of Ammonium Nitrate Fuel Oil (ANFO) explosives to a mining company in the area. Experts as yet have no explanation for why the explosion occurred. Police Lt. Col. Rodrigo Alegria told reporters that ANFO is a very stable material that requires a detonator to explode. The ANFO was being transported in sacks weighing 25 kg (55 pounds), but so far authorities do not know the quantity of explosive that the victims had with them. The men had stopped their trucks by the side of the road when the explosion occurred. Police said the delay in establishing the exact number of victims was due to the fact that the body parts were scattered many metres (yards) from the blast site by the force of the explosion.
7 September - Belgium
100907-12 Seneffe, Province of Hainaut. Mecar SPRL. A fire broke out around 08:10 in the large calibre ammunition assembly building, causing explosions audible for kilometres around for about two hours. One employee felt ill and was taken to hospital for a check-up. Because the plant personnel were unable to master the fire, emergency plans were activated. The factory was quickly evacuated. The smoke posed no danger to the population. The fire started on a wooden pallet containing 54 finished grenades. It was decided not to extinguish, but wait at a large distance till the explosions stopped. The area was checked by helicopter. Traffic was kept at a distance of 4 km. The EOD still has to come because there are still explosives in several buildings that are not yet accessible. Only when the EOD have accomplished their job can the experts start their investigation and the cleaning up can start. The safety precautions worked. The factory is built in an uninhabited area and consists of separate buildings. When one of these explodes, other buildings are safe.
9 September - USA
100909-06 Batesville, AR. Seven construction workers were injured in an explosion in a tunnel being dug beneath the Batesville Municipal Golf course. Independence County Sheriff Alan Cockrill said the workers were digging a tunnel underneath the golf course, using explosives. He said that workers entered the tunnel after an explosion to dig another hole to place more explosives when they accidentally hit remnants of the previous explosives and a blast ensued. The explosion occurred about 13:45. Those injured were taken to the White River Medical Center in Batesville. Sheriff’s Deputy Michael Daar said one of the men injured was transferred to a trauma unit at a Little Rock hospital. Mayor Rick Elumbaugh said the men were working on a new wastewater treatment plant.
14 September -USA
100914-05-A Toone, TN. (www.myfoxmemphis.com/dpp/news/local/091510-kilgore-plant-employees-return-towork). Kilgore Flares Company. An explosion and fire injured six people, three of them critically, at a plant that makes flares for the military. Sheriff John Doolen of Hardeman County said that fire-fighters at the plant were letting the fire burn itself out, adding: “There’s a lot of material in that building. I just think there’s a possibility of another explosion". Mayor Willie Spencer of Hardeman County said the cause of the explosion was not known. In the last 25 years, five workers have died on the job at Kilgore Flares. Kilgore CFO Mike Rooney told reporters there was no explosion. Instead he described what happened as a flash fire. He said the fire department decided to let the materials burn out, but he would not specify what type of materials were burning, explaining: “There’s some trade secrets as well as classified information for the government". Rooney said several executives headed to Memphis where the three victims are being treated for severe burns, adding: “We take their safety very seriously. It’s our first priority. This has really touched everyone in the company". Rooney said once the fire is extinguished, the investigation into the cause of the incident will begin. On September 17, company President, Christopher Watt said the company would resume manufacturing its flares at 04:00 on Monday, September 20. Kilgore, however, will reopen only those sections of the plant that do not use the same manufacturing processes suspected to have caused the fire. Watt said the flash fire was a freak accident, saying he found its cause baffling because of where it occurred, adding: “I am very anxious to see what unfolds with the investigation, because I am not sure it’s ever happened in the industry". Kilgore was not placed under a “stop-work” order from any federal or state agency since the fire, Watt said. He said the decision to close the plant was his. Watt said Kilgore’s manufacturing site has 200 buildings, including some administration and maintenance structures. The federal government requires the buildings to be far enough apart so that an explosion or other problem does not affect another building. The fire occurred in building No. 35, which sits on a hill in the northeast quadrant. No portion of the building is buried below ground. It is about 800 square-feet, and separated into two sections by a concrete wall and two, one-inch-thick reinforced steel doors. One side of the building is the final assembly side. Workers insert their hands through slots into a protective box, similar to a laboratory glove-box. Workers take a “grain” which is a mixture of magnesium, Teflon, other chemicals and a binder, and wrap them in a foil-like material. They then insert the materials into the flare’s outer casing and cap the flare. Each flare has a specific “burn profile”, Watt said, that mimics the exact heat emissions of the aircraft it is designed to protect. The other half of the building is called the “slurry room". This is where the inner core of the flare is hand-dipped in liquid magnesium, Teflon and other ingredients, known as slurry. The slurry is coated over the flare’s core to make it burn correctly. The slurry is mixed in a separate building and is manually transported to the slurry room on carts. The liquid is highly flammable, Watt said, and could be ignited by a static electric charge. It was on this side of the building where the fire occurred. The fire was only the second incident that caused injuries since Kilgore Flares was bought by Chemring in 2001. The first incident happened a few months after the company took over the manufacturing plant. Chemring has invested more than $45 million in safety related improvements since 2001, Watt said. Kilgore had amassed more than 4.5 mil-lion production-related hours without a work-related injury before the fire. The company says on its website that it supplies decoy flares to counter the threat of heat-seeking missiles. Kilgore earlier this year announced a $22.5 million order from the Department of Defense for flares for B-52 aircraft. Kilgore was bought in 2001 by Chemring Group PLC, a British company with operations throughout the world.
15 September - USA
100915-02 Orlando, FL. DSE Fusing Inc. LLC. Orange County Fire-fighters responded just before 11:00 to a medical call involving an injured adult at DSE Fusing. They upgraded the call to a hazmat situation, based on preincident plans: DSE manufactures ordnance. According to initial reports there was a small ammunition explosion that injured a woman working on an assembly line. Fire-fighters characterized the incident as an industrial accident, and said they took precautions to ensure the safety of responding fire-fighters. They found however that no hazardous conditions were present. The woman sustained facial and chest injuries, but persons at the scene said she was in stable condition.
17 September - Sri Lanka
100917-01-B Karadiyanaru, near Batticaloa. At least 25 people, most of them policemen, were killed when vehicles carrying explosives accidentally blew up at a police station near the eastern city of Batticaloa. Over 50 were injured. MajGen Ubaya Medawala said the explosives were being signed over to two Chinese road construction contractors. At least 40 people are reported to have been injured. MajGen Medawala said it was an accidental explosion. He said the explosives were being loaded on to several vehicles at the police station when one of them blew up, setting off the other explosives. He said the cause of the initial blast was unknown, but “no sabotage is suspected at the moment”. The police station was thought to have been destroyed. Medawala said: “We believe over 60 have died - this includes two Chinese contractors and the rest policemen". Later, Medawala said he initially feared, incorrectly, that the death toll was as high as 60, in light of the enormity of the damage caused by the blast. In fact, the explosion killed 16 policemen and nine civilians, including two Chinese citizens, and wounded 52 others. Among the civilian casualties were farmers visiting the agriculture office and passers-by. Chinese firms are heavily involved in road building and the construction of two ports in Sri Lanka. The Batticaloa area was once controlled by the Tamil Tiger rebel group. Since their defeat last year, the government has begun to rebuild roads and other infrastructure in the region. 17 September - Ukraine 100917-08 Black Sea, off the Crimean Peninsula. Two artillery shells detonated aboard an amphibious assault ship during naval war games off the Crimean Peninsula, injuring at least four persons. A source in the Ukrainian Naval Forces said the artillery shells that exploded were “life expired”. The incident occurred on board the Kirovograd medium amphibious assault ship, seriously injuring four sailors, in the Crimean training ground Opuk during the Vzaimodeistviye-2010 [Cooperation-2010] military exercises. The injured servicemen were reportedly admitted to hospital in a grave condition. Ukraine’s defence authorities have provided no official comments over the incident. The UNIAN news agency said the defence minister, Mykhailo Yezhel, had been supervising the exercises. The Ukrainian Naval Forces source said: “Firing expired artillery shells is a common practice that allows to kill two birds with one stone: both to train and to get rid of obsolete ammunition. During gunnery exercises, a ship is strongly shaken – even ceiling lamps in corridors fell down. It’s quite possible that the expired shells detonated. Fortunately, they were quite small, and no one was killed". The source said that the incident would have been prevented if drill monitors had checked the ammunition's expiration date.
18 October - China
101018-02 Qiaoxi Village, Dongxiang County, Jiangxi Province. Xinshan Explosive Fuse Plant. Three women died and six people were injured in an explosion at a fuse plant in east China. The explosion occurred at about 13:00 at the legally operated Xinshan Explosive Fuse Plant. All the injured had been taken to hospital. County work safety authorities were investigating.
2 November - Cambodia
101102-10 Phnom Prek district, Battambang province. One died and three others were severely injured when a tractor they were riding ran over several concealed anti-tank mines. Rith Sophorn, a police official in Chak Krey commune, said the mines exploded when the driver, a soldier, swerved to avoid a pothole. The other three casualties were bean farmers who were hitching a ride home on the tractor. Rith Sophorn said: “The tractor was completely damaged, and the people lost legs, hands and suffered head injuries. One of the bean farmers died on the way to hospital due to serious injuries”. Two of the casualties were taken to a hospital in Thailand, while the third was being treated at the local referral hospital in Chak Krey commune and was soon be taken to Battambang provincial hospital for further treatment. Phnom Prek district governor Soun Kien said that two other concealed anti-tank mines were found around four metres from the scene of the accident, adding: “There are many land mines in this area because it used to be a theatre of war. People know that but it is very hard for them to avoid farming on the land”.
3 November - USA
101103-05 Austin, TX. A man was injured in a small explosion while “cooking pyrotechnics inside his home in Southwest Austin at about 04:00”, police said. Police said a man was experimenting with pyrotechnic chemicals in his kitchen in preparation for a World War II re-enactment when the explosion occurred, causing a fire. The kitchen suffered minimal damage. The man’s wife called the emergency services, and Austin fire-fighters, police, EOD squad, and officials with Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives responded. He was taken to University Medical Center Brackenridge, where he remained with critical injuries. Police spokesman Cpl. Anthony Hipolito said the man had a valid license to work with pyrotechnic chemicals and had the chemicals legally: “He was cooking the chemicals on the stove and something went wrong and it went off. This was purely an accident”. Hipolito said the man will not face any charges.
11 November - Mexico
101111-05 San Miguel Zacaola, Municipality of Santo Tomás Hueyotlipan, Puebla. A clandestine gunpowder store exploded in the town of San Miguel Zacaola. Authorities confirmed the death of the owner of the place, his wife and son, and four people injured, including two minors who were referred for initial attention to Tepeaca General ospital. The mayor of Hueyotlipan, Fernando García Aguilar, said the security forces were still in place determining the extent of the damage. It was reported that due to the explosion a large amount of smoke was seen throughout the town.
16 November - Cambodia
http://english.ntdtv.com/ntdtv_en/ns_asia/2010-11-18/271437906148.html - 101116-05 Battambang province, 250 km (155 miles) northwest of Phnom Penh. Fourteen people died in western Cambodia when their homemade tractor ran over an anti-tank mine left over from the country’s civil war in the Buth Sambo said 12 of them were killed instantly, including a one-year-old girl, and the two others died on the way to a hospital. The police officer said the area was the site of intense battles between the Khmer Rouge and government forces in the 1980s and early 1990s and thus was seeded with numerous mines.
20 November - India
101120-02 Binnaguri, Jalpaiguri district, West Bengal state. A major fire broke out in an ammunition depot of the Army at Binnaguri, causing some damage. Fire brigade officials said: “Two blasts were heard in the godown [warehouse] where the fire was suspected to have originated from stored chemicals”. The fire was noticed at about 17:00, and six fire tenders, including two of the defence, put out the fire at about 21:00. A defence ministry spokesman said in Kolkata that there was no loss of life or any amage to serviceable ammunition, adding: “The extent of damage, if any, and the cause of the fire is being assessed by a court of inquiry”.
25 November - India
101125-01 Azhavangadu in Coonoor division of Nilgiris district, 12 km from Udagamandalam (Ooty), Tamil Nadu. Indian Defence Ministry: Indian Ordnance Factories, Cordite Factory. Five workers at the Cordite Factory were killed, and two seriously injured, in an explosion at 15:15. The incident occurred when a group of employees were engaged in mixing chemicals for the manufacture of propellants used in firearms and artillery. The explosion led to the collapse of the entire structure at building No 2 of the 106-year-old establishment, in the high-security area at Aruvankadu. The General Manager of the factory G Ashok Kumar said: “An accident occurred in the dough making unit in Building No 2 causing an explosion. There were six employees inside. Of them, Ilango ran out suffering injuries. He is undergoing treatment in our hospital and is safe. Of the remaining, one body has been recovered but we are unable to identify as it is heavily mutilated. Ten more employees have suffered minor injuries. Some of them have been treated as outpatients. They are all safe. This is an accident not sabotage. Enquiries will be conducted by Defence Ministry’s ballistic and chemical experts. here will also be multi-disciplinary enquiries. Only after that, the cause will be known". Situated at an altitude of 1,890 metres above sea level, the plant was the first smokeless propellant factory in India. It was opened on January 19, 1904. Cordite Factory manufactures nitrocellulose, nitroglycerine, propellants for small arms and ammunition for guns and artillery ammunition as well as propellants for engine starters for aircraft.
9 December - Spain
101209-05 Eskoriatza (Guipúzcoa). Adif. A worker died and two others were injured in an explosion on a highspeed railway construction site in Eskoriatza. The accident happened at 14:20, when explosive material left, over from controlled explosions carried out earlier at the site, was ignited accidentally, causing the death of a Ukrainian man. The explosion also caused severe injuries to another Ukrainian man working on the site. A woman, who was working as a security officer at the site, was also injured, although less severely. She was also taken to hospital. The incident was being investigated by experts from the Basque Institute of Workplace Safety, along with explosives experts from the Ertzaintza (Basque police force). Police opened an investigation into the causes of the accident and another independent investigation will be carried out by Adif, the company responsible for the high-speed rail link to and from Vizcaya and Álava.