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Gunpowder factory catches fire, explodes in Russia; at least 16 dead

Gunpowder factory catches fire, explodes in Russia; at least 16 dead
Firefighters work at the site of an explosion at a gunpowder workshop at a plant near Ryazan, Russia, on Friday. Photo by Russian Emergencies Ministry/EPA-EFE

Oct. 22 (UPI) -- More than a dozen people were killed on Friday when a gunpowder factory in Russia caught fire and exploded, authorities said.

At least 16 people were killed in the accident at the Elastik factory in the Ryazan region of Russia, located about 170 miles southeast of Moscow, the Emergencies Ministry said.

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One person was seriously hurt and was taken to a hospital.

"He sustained burns of 80% of his skin's surface," health ministry aide Alexei Kuznetsov said, according to Interfax.

Officials said the fire and explosion were likely caused by violations in the plant's technological processes.

Several people at the factory were reported missing.

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