A blast at a fireworks company outside Moscow injured at least 56 people at the site of a plant controlled by the state-owned Rostec industrial and defense group.
(Bloomberg) — A blast at a fireworks company outside Moscow injured at least 56 people at the site of a plant controlled by the state-owned Rostec industrial and defense group.
The explosion happened Wednesday at a production and storage site at the Zagorsk Optical-Mechanical Plant in the town of Sergiev Posad, according to Moscow Region Governor Andrey Vorobyov.
The plant is a unit of Rostec’s Shvabe Holding, which is responsible for development and output of optical-electronic systems for military and civilian use. It was producing equipment including for Russian defense forces until at least 2021, according to annual reports before Russia halted disclosure of corporate data following the invasion of Ukraine.
The plant has a contract for 2019-2027 to produce equipment for the newest strategic bomber “Poslannik” — one of the main weapon systems with which the Kremlin hopes to advance its defense capabilities.
There is no indication the blast was caused by a drone attack or foul play, and an investigation into possible violations of industrial safety rules is taking place, Russia’s federal Investigative Committee said in a statement.
Rostec said the blast occurred at a warehouse owned by a private company whose premises are adjacent to the Zagorsk plant, causing damage to its premises. The Interfax news service reported that one of the injured later died in the hospital, citing local authorities.
Moscow and the surrounding region has been the target of intensifying drone attacks in recent months as Russia continues to fight its war in Ukraine. Two were shot down overnight, including one near Domodedovo Airport, according to official statements.
(Updates with casualty numbers in lede, details of plant in third paragraph, Rostec statement in sixth.)
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