The Explosia factory in Pardubice via Wikimedia / Michal Louč

Four people seriously injured in blast in Pardubice explosives factory

One of the victims has burns on 90 percent of the body and is in a critical condition

Pardubice, East Bohemia, Nov 1 (CTK) – Three people suffered severe burns in an explosion in the state-owned Explosia plant in Pardubice this morning and they were sent to a special burns centre in Prague, and one person suffered burns and a head injury, the emergency service said today.

One of the victims has burns on 90 percent of the body and is in a critical condition, Pardubice emergency service spokesman Ales Maly said.

The fourth victim was transported to the hospital in Hradec Kralove, east Bohemia, with a head injury.

The blast occurred in the gunpowder production section, company spokesman Martin Vencl said.

Industry and Trade Minister Karel Havlicek (for ANO) is heading for the plant.

“Explosia is a firm fully owned by the state and falls under the Industry and Trade Ministry. This is why I have changed my whole programme and left for Pardubice,” he told CTK.

The most severely burnt victim was airlifted to Prague’s Vinohrady hospital aboard a helicopter, he was put into an induced sleep and connected to a pulmonary ventilation, Maly said.

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“The other two people suffered less extensive burns and have minor injuries. They were also transported to Vinohrady,” Maly added.

“Two are in a serious condition, one is hospitalised with a moderate injury,” Prague’s Vinohrady hospital spokeswoman Jana Roubalova told CTK later.

The fourth victim is in a serious condition. He has burns and a severe head injury and is connected to pulmonary ventilation, Hradec Kralove deputy director Zdenek Tusl said.

Gunpowder started burning after 7:00 today, Vencl said. Firefighters extinguished it after about one hour.

“We reported the accident to the Mining Authority. The police are in the scene,” Vencl told CTK.

The company management set up a commission to investigate the accident. The explosion has not considerably affected the plant’s operation.

Havlicek left there to see the situation on the spot, agree on further steps, find out the blast impact on the operation and surroundings and get information on the victims’ condition.

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Only two company firefighters are assisting on the spot, regional fire corps spokeswoman Vendula Horakova told CTK, adding that an investigator from the fire corps left for the plant.

Explosia, established in 1920 and fully owned by the state since 2002, produces explosives and ammunition.

A serious accident occurred in Explosia in April 2011 when a blast killed four people and injured another nine. It destroyed two ferroconcrete underground facilities and damaged other buildings. The cause was never found out.

In October 2018, a blast in the Explosia complex destroyed a little bridge that was not much used, but no one was injured. The accident slightly limited the plant’s operation. The Czech Mining Authority imposed a fine on the firm over the explosion.

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