A massive explosion in a Russian gunpowder factory killed four workers and injured upto 12 others. But the panicked authorities have been quick to shut down claims of sabotage and have instead said it was due to human error.
The gunpowder plant located in Tambov, southeast of Moscow, issued a statement saying that a blast happened during assembly work involving a contractor.
Most of the victims are believed to have been employees of the contractor.
Russian news agencies are reporting that the plant is looking into the reasons for the explosion and said that “the human factor” played a part. Tambov governor Maxim Yegorov ruled out a “terror attack”.
Alarabiya News reports that the Investigative Committee, which probes major crimes in Russia, said that it opened an investigation into violation of safety rules.
The explosion happened at around 2.10pm today Moscow Standard Time.
Tambov is around 300 miles from Ukraine and is a key area for the Russian military.
Back in February when Joe Biden visited Ukraine the Kremlin allegedly carried out a handful of nuclear weapon readiness checks and mock combat orders ahead of the US President’s visit.
Included in the actions was a coherence check of Russia’s central command system, called “Monolith”, which incorporates the top war generals and the missile forces employed by the Air Force.
“Monolith” was a code word used by the Soviet military to denote the highest priority messages.
A nuclear missile submarine was also given a mock combat order to fire, while strategic bombers and top commanders were moved to Tambov air base.
According to Ukrainian intelligence, the actions were an attempt to use “blunt nuclear blackmail”, as well as “to weaken international support for Ukraine”.
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