Pulgaon fire: Manohar Parrikar rules out sabotage, says inquiry needed to ascertain cause

Wardha: Union Defence Minister Manohar Parrikar on Tuesday said there was no sabotage involved in the fire at the central ammunition depot at Pulgaon in the district but the exact cause would be known only after inquiry.

"We are not ruling out any possibility but there is no sabotage as such," he told reporters.

 Pulgaon fire: Manohar Parrikar rules out sabotage, says inquiry needed to ascertain cause

Defence Minister Manohar Parrikar. AFP

Fire was contained with timely help from all the concerned persons and only a complete inquiry will reveal its cause, Parrikar said.

It is too early to speculate about the cause, he added.

Parrikar, who visited the injured personnel at the Datta Meghe Medical College and Hospital at Sawangi Meghe in the district, said 130 tonnes of anti-tank mines were destroyed in the fire.

Spread over an area of more than 7,000 acres, CAD Pulgaon, around 115 km from Wardha is an important ammunition depot for the defence services, storing a variety of arms, ammunition and others equipment used by the Army, Air Force and Navy, in several sheds located inside the campus, which is off-bounds for the civilians.

The fire erupted in one of the sheds at around 1 am and fire-fighters as well as Quick Reaction Teams located inside the CAD rushed there to douse the conflagration as per laid down procedures.

This restricted the fire to just one shed only which contained highly sensitive ammunition, the details of which have not been disclosed.

Parrikar, accompanied by the Army Chief General Dalbir Singh Suhag, spent more than half an hour meeting the injured personnel at the hospital.

Twenty defence personnel, including Lt Col  R S Pawar and Major Mohan K, were killed in the massive fire that broke out at one of Asia's biggest ammunition depot in Pulgaon which houses the largest stockpile of weapons in the country.

With inputs from agencies

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Updated Date: May 31, 2016 20:21:03 IST