Indian fire

17 killed in blaze at Indian army ammunition depot

At least 17 army personnel were killed when a fire broke out at a major ammunition depot in western India.

The blaze at the Pulgaon ammunitions depot started before dawn on Tuesday, according to an official at the local police station.

Devendra Fadnavis, the chief minister of Maharashtra state, where the depot is located, told reporters that the fire had caused a “massive loss of life and property”.

New Delhi Television and other local media reported that 17 army personnel died in the fire, and that 19 other people were injured. NDTV also reported that about 1,000 villagers had been evacuated from around the area.

Mr Fadnavis said the state government was making “every resource” available to the army to help it control the situation, and was ensuring that all local hospitals were equipped to deal with the injured.

Prime Minister Narendra Modi tweeted that he was “pained by loss of lives” in the fire and added that he had asked the defence minister to visit the site.

The Pulgaon ammunition depot, one of India’s largest, is located in Maharastra state’s Wardha district.

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