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Explosion at a Russian gunpowder facility.

Image Credit: Ministry of Emergency Situations Press Service via AP

Early on Friday morning, an explosion rocked a gunpowder facility in the village of Lesnoy in Russia’s Ryazan region. Local authorities reported that at least 16 people lost their lives in the explosion. The factory was completely destroyed.

According to local authorities, there were 17 people at the gunpowder workshop of Elastik synthetic-fibers plant at the moment of explosion. The facility is about 270 kilometres southeast of Moscow and is specialized in manufacturing industrial explosives for civilian use.

More than 170 firefighters have been deployed to the site to contain the fire. The Russian acting Emergency Situations Minister, Alexander Chuprian also visited the site. The Ministry later assured the region that there is no threat to them.

Officials have launched an invesyigation to determine the cause. They will check whether if there were potential violations of safety procedures or short circuit that led to the explosion among other possible causes.

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