A massive explosion rocked an optical equipment factory near Moscow on Wednesday, causing injuries and triggering emergency evacuations from nearby structures, according to authorities.
The aftermath of the blast cast a somber gray, mushroom-shaped cloud over the Zagorsk Optical-Mechanical Plant (ZOMZ) located in Sergiyev Posad, approximately 40 miles northeast of Moscow.
In response to the incident, the town’s administration announced via Telegram that a comprehensive evacuation was underway across all sections of the plant, including its buildings and workshops. Reports from the Tass state news agency indicated that 30 individuals sustained injuries as a result of the explosion. Among them, 19 were promptly transported to medical facilities, while three others, severely wounded, are currently receiving intensive care.
Initial findings from an emergency service source cited by RIA Novosti attribute the explosion to “a violation of the technological process.” The plant is renowned for producing night vision goggles and binoculars for the Russian military, heightening the gravity of the incident.
The explosion comes on the heels of Moscow Mayor Sergei Sobyanin’s assertion that two drones were intercepted while attempting an attack on the Russian capital the previous evening.
Amid the chaos resulting from the Sergiyev Posad blast, reports of multiple explosions emerged from Voronezh, hundreds of miles away. However, local authorities swiftly reassured residents, attributing the detonations to military exercises in the vicinity.
Similar reassurances echoed in Vladivostok, located in the Far East of the country. In this case, a loud explosion at a military base prompted police, firefighters, and the Federal Security Service to respond. Local media outlet Astra documented the events, reporting that military training exercises underpinned the apparent turmoil.
A notable figure in the region, Maksim Chikhunov, a local politician and human rights advocate, took to Telegram to convey reports of residents being instructed to remain tight-lipped about the incident. An unnamed resident recounted being questioned by FSB officers who admonished them against divulging information.
The press service of the Eastern Military District subsequently clarified that the commotion stemmed from troops engaging in simulated air attack repulsion exercises. Amid the interconnected series of events, the true extent and impact of the explosion at the optical factory continue to reverberate.