A fire broke out in one of the magazines of the Defence Research and Development Organisations lab in Chandipur area of coastal Balasore district on Monday morning. The blaze was contained within three hours by 14 fire tenders. More than 12 hours later,more explosions occurred at the same magazine following which six fire tenders rushed to the site to control the fire.
The second explosion in the magazine,which started at around 8 pm,was contained after 45 minutes. No one was injured in the explosions.
The first fire,broke out in one of the 21 magazines of Proof and Experimental Establishment in Chandipur,the oldest laboratory of DRDO around 4 am. The explosion left all explosives in the magazine completely gutted. However,the roof of the magazine was intact. Only the doors were ripped apart, said PXE Director R Appavuraj. The rest 20 magazines in PXE were unaffected by the explosion. Appavuraj said more than a dozen firefighters took three hours to bring the fire under control.
The incident triggered panic among people in Chandipur and nearby areas. We woke up due to the noise. We were scared and initially thought there was a powerful bomb explosion, said a local resident.
Appavuraj said its not yet clear how the magazine housed in a RCC structure caught fire. There are no electrical wirings in the building. Whether it was due to lightning or some chemical decomposition,we an only tell after an inquiry, he said.
The test site,known as Proof and Experimental Establishment (PXE),is the DRDOs oldest weapons testing facility in the country set up in 1894. PXE is the main non-Army proving ground and research centre for design and developmental trials of guns,mortars,rockets,RCL,tank guns and their ammunition and Naval guns and ammunition.