Clothes ‘burned off workers’ in mystery explosion at chemical weapons plant

The facility in Kamensk-Shakhtinsky, Russia, is believed to be involved in the manufacture of multiple launch rocket systems and explosives, and civilian chemicals.

But there is not yet an official explanation of what caused the incident.

Officials deny there was a chemical leak into the atmosphere, despite a video appearing to show smoke rising from the plant.

A widow of one of the victims said she has been forbidden from taking her husband’s torched corpse from the morgue.

A widower said the seven workers were all piled “like cattle” into one ambulance and taken to an ill-prepared hospital, where they had to walk upstairs unaided.

One relative said two female and five male victims walked out of the workshop naked because their clothing was destroyed.

It's unclear if the burns were caused by flames or a chemical reaction, but immediately afterwards all seven could walk and some talk, according to witness reports.

Plant worker Alexander Krasnikov, 33, died in hospital on Monday night, while Sergey Mikhin, son of killed Svetlana MIkhina, 55, said: “When they ran out of the building, [foreman Aleksey] Boyko was wheezing and coughing.

“My mother was talking. They gave her water and she drank it. She asked to call her relatives…all their clothes were completely burned.

“My sister said my mother was wearing only a bra when she arrived at the hospital. I was told ( by the doctors ) there was practically no chance (of survival ). Even more: they had no chance.

“Doctors said to prepare for (death).”

Igor Avdeev, the husband of Galina Avdeeva, 50, said: “Can you imagine – they were all put in one ambulance? Seven people.

“They treated them like cattle. “Nobody even waited for them in the hospital. Nothing was prepared. My wife got to the hospital emergency room herself. Upstairs, to the hospital emergency room..

“She reached a stretcher and fell on it. They all walked upstairs themselves.”

Vyacheslav Sukhorebriy, 43, was the first of the seven to die. He died soon after reaching hospital on Thursday, the day of the explosion, but his widow Natalya has been refused permission to retrieve his corpse for burial.

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”His body is still in the morgue,” she said. “They refuse to give it to us. What can I say? I do not know anything.”

A source told BAZA media: "Some ( people ) were not supposed to be there. The company cut staff.

“There were inexperienced staff who were forced to do jobs they had not previously undertaken. This influenced the incident.”

Reports have said there was a “violation” of safety rules.

“When the fire began, people ran out, pulling their clothes off because they were burning alive,” a source told Tsargrad Rostov.

The plant produces chemical products, including ones for the Russian Ministry of Defence, according to reports. It also has links to NPO Splav, which produces multiple launch rocket systems Grad, Smerch, and Uragan.

A probe into the explosion is being led by Dmitry Kapranov, director of the Department of the Industry of Conventional Arms, Ammunition and Special Chemistry of the Ministry of Industry and Trade of Russia.

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