An enquiry has been ordered into the massive fire that engulfed one of the Indian Army’s largest ammunition depots in Maharashtra’s Pulgaon early on Tuesday and left 16 dead including two officers, a top army official said.
“The cause of the fire is not yet known. Actions to assess the damage are in progress. The army has ordered an enquiry to investigate the incident,” said director general, military operations, Lt. Gen Ranbir Singh.
He put the toll at 16 - three soldiers and 13 fire brigade staff, he said.
“The fire has been completely doused and situation brought under control. However, in our efforts to douse the fire, two officers and 14 personnel (one army jawan and 13 civilian fire fighting staff) lost their lives and two officers and 15 personnel (nine army jawans and six civilian fire fighting staff) were injured,” Singh said.
“As per last reports, all the injured are stable,” he added.
All the injured have been admitted to a super speciality hospital at Wardha and a team of especialised doctors from Pune has also rushed there, said the DGMO.
Singh said that the fire started in one of the sheds at approximately 1 am and immediate action was taken by the fire fighting parties and Quick Reaction Teams at the depot to putting the fire fighting mechanism into place as per the laid down procedures.
This restricted the fire to one shed only which contained highly sensitive ammunition.
Spread over an area of more than 7,000 acres, Pulgaon is an important ammunition depot of the Indian Army, storing a variety of ammunition.