Deadly blast at munitions disposal facility kills two in South Kazakhstan27 june 2014, 01:57
An explosion took place at a munitions disposal depot in South Kazakhstan Oblast killing two and injuring one, Tengrinews correspondent reports.
"At 7:40 a.m. gunpowder exploded not causing a fire," the Department for Emergency Situations reported about the explosion at the munitions disposal depot in the town of Arys in South Kazakhstan Oblast. There was a shift change at the moment of the explosion, so it is unclear who is responsible. The details of the emergency are still being investigated. According to the Department, one of the victims was born in 1982, the other - in 1988.
The Central district clinic informed that a man with thermal burns came for assistance right after the blast. “But the patient has already been discharged and gone home," the doctors said. He will be receiving outpatient treatment.
Managing Director of Kazakhvzryvprom JSC [a major company dealing with organization and performance of blasting operations in construction, agriculture and other branches of the national economy] Renat Issatayev elaborated on the situation. He said that the emergency happened at the disposal unit. “We have several units. Each unit is individually responsible for a particular function: removing fuses, taking off shells, removing the nut or explosive powders. The incident occurred in the gunpowder extraction module," Issatayev informed.
Issatayev said that the blast happened at 7:28 at one of the two Kazakhvzryvprom’s munitions disposal facilities in South Kazakhstan Oblast. He said that the causes were still unknown but confirmed the deaths of two persons: a man, born in 1988, and a woman, born in 1980. The one injured was the shift supervisor, who walked out of the building just a minute before the deadly explosion.
Issatayev said that all the works at the facility were suspended until the investigators released their statement. An investigation team composed of representatives of the National Security Committee, the Ministry of Defense and the munitions disposal depot is working at the scene. The Department of Labour and Social Security is aware of the incident as well. "On our part, we are taking all the necessary measures. Our chief is contacting relatives of the victims, and we are already providing for everything we can," Issatayev stated.
He promised that 1 million Tenge ($5,449) will be paid to the family of each of the deceased. 250,000 Tenge ($1,362) will be allocated for the first funeral services. According to Issatayev, all the employees of the company had a life insurance and the insurance company has been informed about the incident.
This is not the first such incident in the town of Arys. In March 2009, an explosion happened at another munitions disposal facility owned by LLP KazArsenal. It killed three people and injured 17 out of its 39 employees who were on the territory of the facility at that moment. It was later revealed that safety rules had been grossly violated. Former executives of the enterprises were charged and convicted for violation of the safety rules. Various jail terms were handed out to the convicted KazArsenal branch manager, his deputy, chief engineer, shift supervisor and occupational health and safety engineer.
Reported by Aidana Yusupova, writing by Dinara Urazova, editing by Tatyana Kuzmina