Russian Mechnical Plant Explosion Claimed to be From Pyrotechnics Warehouse Struck by Drone Attack

A large explosion in the Moscow region of Russia this morning was reportedly from a rented pyrotechnics warehouse adjacent to a state-owned Rostec industrial plant yard, Zagorsk Optical and Mechanical Plant, an optical and optoelectronic devices for the Russian military, law enforcement agencies, industry and healthcare, according to Russian state media. Russian investigators initially reported it was a drone attack, later adding that the explosion was in part due to improperly stored explosive materials set off by a drone. The warehouse owner claims there were metal pipes inside instead. The explosion is claimed to have taken place at the warehouse owned by the Piro-ross company, in the city of Sergiyev Posad, around 60 kilometers northeast of Moscow.

Videos of damage from the ground:

Videos showing military shells that shot out of the explosion reportedly damaging at least one building:

Although one person was reported dead earlier in the day, the newer media released from two hours ago only mentioned over 60 people injured and 150 rescue workers involved in the operation. TASS state media writes that the pyrotechnic warehouse was adjacent to the mechanical plant but a separate structure and enterprise. Houses two streets away had their windows smashed by the explosion. Nine people are currently reported missing. BAZA writes there are claims of at least ten human remains found in the rubble.

Russian authorities now claim as well the size of the explosion was in part some way due to improperly stored materials: “4 buildings were completely destroyed after the explosion in Sergiev Posad. Another 6 buildings were partially destroyed, 14 buildings were damaged. Upon the explosion, the IC initiated a case under Article 217 of the Criminal Code of the Russian Federation — “Violation of the requirements of industrial safety of hazardous production facilities” –BAZA

This recent update from BAZA ends with the owner of the warehouse reportedly claiming it contained metal pipes instead of pyrotechnics: “Fragments of bodies, presumably 10 people, were found at the site of the explosion at the Sergiev Posad plant, there is a high probability that the death toll may rise to 15 or even higher — the rubble has not yet been completely dismantled. This is reported by sources, however, this information has not been officially confirmed. According to the “Base”, in addition to the version of the explosion due to the violation of industrial safety of hazardous production facilities and sabotage, investigators also do not exclude the drone version – according to it, the UAV could get into a truck with gunpowder that arrived on the territory of the Zagorsk Optical and Mechanical Plant, and provoke a large—scale explosion. At the same time, there was another batch of 4 tons of gunpowder near the warehouse where the explosion occurred. Miraculously, it didn’t explode.

According to the official version, the explosion occurred at the pyrotechnics warehouse, which belonged to the company “Pyro-Ross”. After the incident, the company’s CEO Sergey Chankaev was taken away for questioning. The man himself claimed that the explosion occurred not in a warehouse of pyrotechnic products, but in a nearby warehouse where metal pipes were stored.”–BAZA

On June 8th, 2022, the plant was one of a number of infrastructure/military locations that experienced unusual fires in 2022 in Russia, suspected to be attacks by Russian partisans or Ukrainian saboteurs.