Army depot fire: Death toll climbs to 19, Sena blames Centre for mishap

Three of the injured were airlifted to Army Hospital in Pune today, a hospital spokesperson said.

Published: 01st June 2016 04:03 PM  |   Last Updated: 01st June 2016 05:41 PM   |  A+A-

India Ammunitions  fire AP

In this image made from video of K.K.Productions, a huge fire is seen at the Pulgaon ammunition depot in Pulgaon in the Indian state of Maharastra, Tuesday, May 31, 2016. | AP

By PTI

PULGAON: Three more bodies were today recovered from the site of the fire mishap at the Central Ammunition Depot at Pulgaon in Maharashtra, taking the death toll to 19.            

"Three bodies charred beyond recognition have been recovered from the accident site today," Defence sources said. All the three belonged to Defence Security Corps, the sources added.      

Seventeen persons including a senior CAD official were yesterday rushed to the Acharya Vinoba Bhave Rural Hospital in Sawangi Meghe as they sustained injuries in the blaze that broke out at one of Asia's biggest ammunition depot, which houses the largest stockpile of weapons in the country.        

Three of the injured were airlifted to Army Hospital in Pune today, a hospital spokesperson said. They include Deputy Commandant of the CAD, Col Ganendra Singh and two other officers-- Sharad Yadav and Jagdish Chandra.    

Yadav has suffered some injuries on his face and arm caused by flying splinters and Chandra suffered burn injuries, the spokesperson told PTI. Defence Minister Manohar Parrikar along with Army Chief General Dalbir Singh had visited the hospital yesterday after inspecting the fire site.      

The Army has instituted an inquiry into the incident. Parrikar had said that there was no sabotage involved in the fire at the ammunition depot but the exact cause would be known only after inquiry.

Sena faults Centre on ammunition depot fire   

MUMBAI: Terming the massive fire at Central Ammunition Depot at Pulgaon as something "abnormal", NDA ally Shiv Sena today smelt sabotage behind it and asked the Centre to own up responsibility for the loss of lives and the huge stockpile of ammunition there.           

"Our enemies like Pakistan and China must have been very happy to hear that a huge stockpile of ammunition has got destroyed in the fire. There would not have been so much loss even in a war. Our government only expresses sorrow over the loss of lives and order inquiries. It is shameful that there are laxities on matters related to the nation's security," Sena said in an editorial in party mouthpiece 'Saamana.'   

"If army personnel are struggling at the borders and there are not enough weapons for them, who is responsible? The government cannot shirk off its responsibilities. This fire was not normal and has raised many doubts and questions," it said.      

At least 18 army personnel were killed after a massive fire yesterday broke out at one of Asia's biggest ammunition depot at Pulgaon in Wardha district of Maharashtra that houses the largest stockpile of weapons in the country.    

The Sena mouthpiece further said the way "corruption" can not be tolerated in the AgustaWestland deal, fires in ammunition depot can not be condoned.

"Earlier there were incidents in submarines, and now there is a fire in an ammunition depot. Why do these kinds of incidents keep happening? If they happen due to negligence then who is in a slumber with regards to national security? If it is happening due to a sinister plot, it is difficult to imagine the extent of power of our enemies," it said.   

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