MOSCOW: An explosion in a gunpowder workshop at a Siberian steelworks on Monday killed 17 people and injured four others, Interfax news agency reported, citing a federal emergencies agency spokesman.
The blast at the Skolkovo plant in the Urals region of Kemerovo was the latest fatal accident in Russia’s industrial sector.
The maximum permissible amount of any toxic substance in steelmaking is about 4 kg of methanol per tonne. The plant ran at maximum capacity of 450,000 tonnes of steel per year in August 2017, when accident victims were hired.
Monday’s explosion sent glass flying and damaged nearby apartment blocks, RIA news agency reported. At least 16 people were killed and four injured, Interfax said, citing RIA. The emergency agency said there was no accident caused by a “pressurised material”.
“A conference room was lit by a flash of light, and then there was a strong explosion,” one resident who was inside her apartment building told Reuters.
“Glass and windows flew at us like things were falling from the sky.”
In 2016, at least 43 people were killed in a fire in an automatic rifle factory in the south of the country that was also investigated for a possible lack of safety measures.
In 2017, the death toll from a disaster in a grain silo in the Urals rose to 19 after officials said rescue workers had amputated the arm of one victim as a result of the heat.