At least 16 people were killed, including two officers, one jawan and 14 civilian firefighting staffs, and 17 were injured on Tuesday after a fire broke out at the Central Ammunition Depot in Pulgaon, Wardha district in Maharashtra.
"The fire has been completely doused and the situation is now under control. However, in our efforts to douse the fire, two officers and 14 personnel (including one Army Jawan and 13 civilian firefighting staff) lost their lives and two officers and 15 personnel (including nine jawans and six civilian firefighting staff) were injured in the Central Ammunition Depot fire in Pulgaon," Lt. Gen Ranbir Singh (DGMO) told reporters here.
"The injured personnel have been shifted to Multi Speciality Hospital in Wardha for treatment," he added.
Lt. Gen Singh also said the medical condition of the injured personnel were reported to be stable, adding that the army medical teams have been moved from Pune to provide specialist medical attention.
He said the fire broke out at approximately 1 O' clock early this morning in one of the sheds, adding that the cause of the fire is yet to be ascertained. "Immediate action was taken by the firefighting parties and Quick Reaction Teams located in the depot restricting the fire to one shed only, which contained highly sensitive ammunitions," he added.
Asserting that actions to assess the damage are in progress, Lt. Gen Singh said an inquiry has been ordered by the army. "Defence Minister, Indian Army Chief and senior defence officials have visited the site to take stock of the situation," he said. "We express deep condolences to the families of the bravehearts who have lost their lives while protecting and securing the important ammunition depot," he added.
The Central Ammunition Depot in Pulgaon is located at about 115 kilometers from Nagpur. The depot is spread over an area of more than 7000 acres and is an important ammunition depot of the Indian Army.