Wardha army ammo depot blast toll 18, one missing

Death toll in the Central Ammunition Depot inferno in Wardha, in which 16 Army personnel were killed increased to 18.

Published: 01st June 2016 12:17 PM  |   Last Updated: 01st June 2016 02:38 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

NAGPUR: The toll in Tuesday's massive fire and explosion at India's largest ammunition depot in Pulgaon, in Maharashtra's Wardha district, climbed to 18 with the bodies of two more persons recovered early Wednesday. One person is reported missing in the tragedy, sources said.

The bodies of the two persons -- whose identities have yet to be established -- were found in a nearby water tank where they were apparently thrown by the blast impact.

Work on clearing up the debris and assessment of damage to the defence assets continued on Wednesday.

The cause of fire, accompanied by a deafening blast -- which locals claimed was heard over 10 km away and damaged several homes and buildings in surrounding villages -- is being investigated.

On Tuesday, the Director-General of Military Operations, Lt. Gen. Ranbir Singh, had said 16 persons lost their lives in the disaster, including Lt. Col. R.S. Pawar and Major Mohan K., besides one soldier and 13 civilian firemen.

Another 17 injured are undergoing treatment at the Multi-Speciality Hospital in Wardha where a team of army doctors from Pune has reached.

Eyewitnesses and military officials said loud explosions followed a massive fireball at one of the sheds at the depot where ammunition with expired shelf life is also disposed of.

The depot recently won an award for using solar energy to dispose off expired ammunition.

As a precautionary measure, the army and civil administration had evacuated five nearby villages amid deafening explosions and rising flames at the depot.

However, some 1,000 men, women and children from these villages were permitted to return home by Tuesday afternoon.

The army has ordered a probe into the incident and the extent of damage or losses to defence assets is being ascertained.


Disclaimer : We respect your thoughts and views! But we need to be judicious while moderating your comments. All the comments will be moderated by the editorial. Abstain from posting comments that are obscene, defamatory or inflammatory, and do not indulge in personal attacks. Try to avoid outside hyperlinks inside the comment. Help us delete comments that do not follow these guidelines.

The views expressed in comments published on are those of the comment writers alone. They do not represent the views or opinions of or its staff, nor do they represent the views or opinions of The New Indian Express Group, or any entity of, or affiliated with, The New Indian Express Group. reserves the right to take any or all comments down at any time.

flipboard facebook twitter whatsapp