A series of blasts rocked an explosives factory in the central Russian city of Dzerzhinsk, damaging almost 200 buildings. At least 42 people have been injured, 14 hospitalized, and two remain missing.
The explosions at a TNT production plant have sent massive plumes of smoke over the city. A first explosion soon triggered two other blasts at the same facility at 11:45am Moscow time on Saturday, before spreading to another building nearby. Officials have declared an emergency.
More than 300 people and 50 technical units were involved in the response to the blast, according to the emergency ministry chief for the Nizhny Novgorod region. A criminal inquiry has been launched into the explosions, on suspicion of a breach of industrial safety rules.
Locals shared several videos from the region showing a huge mushroom of smoke rising into the sky.
The fire from the blast has spread to a nearby building and emergency services are struggling to get the blaze under control, according to a source on the ground who spoke to TASS.
The Ministry of Emergency Situations said the fire is currently spread over a 100 square meter area. The strength of the explosion smashed glass three kilometers away.