At least 17 people were killed and 19 others were injured in a major in India’s biggest ammunition depot in Pulgaon near Wardha in Maharashtra, early on Tuesday.
Locals said that there were multiple explosions as soon as the fire broke out at the Central Ammunition Depot (CAD) around 1.30 a.m. on Tuesday.
The dead include two officers and 17 Defence Security Cops (DSC) jawans.
The area has been cordoned off and the villages that surround the sprawling CAD were evacuated.
Rescue workers, aided by ten fire tenders battled for six hours to bring the inferno under control.
Though a small fire was still raging, much damage is not expected now, officials said.
The cause of the blaze is not yet known. The army has ordered an inquiry into the incident.
Prime Minister Narendra Modi has asked Defence Minister Manohar Parikkar to visit Pulgaon to take stock of the situation.
The Central Ammunition Depot (CAD), located some 112 kms from Nagpur is where most of India’s ordnance production is stockpiled, including the BrahMos missile. The CAD distributes arms and ammunition to forward locations in Western India, as per their requirement.