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Serbia: Deadly explosion rips through rocket engine factory

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An explosion has rocked the southern outskirts of Belgrade, sending a plume of cloud into the sky. At least two people were killed and over a dozen more were injured.

Several explosions tore through a munitions factory on the outskirts of the Serbian capital, Belgrade, on Tuesday, killing at least two people and injuring at least 16, police said. 

The deadly blast took place at a factory that produces several kinds of munitions, including turbojets and rocket engines, according to officials.

What happened?

Fire services received a call about the first explosion in a rocket fuel production factory 13 kilometers (8 miles) south of Belgrade at around 2 p.m. local time (1300 GMT).

The building where the explosions took place stored 500 rockets, with each of them containing around 30 kilograms (66 pounds) of explosives, according to a police statement.

Smoke billows following a blast in the outskirts of Belgrade, Serbia

People posted photos and videos of the massive cloud of smoke that rose up from the site of the explosion on social media

Fire services chief Milos Majstorovic said rescue crews were searching the area to see if there were any more injured people.

Police said rescuers were using drones to look for further potential victims.

Explosion leaves crater in ground 

Some 40 people were inside the warehouse at the time of the blast, state television RTS reported.

The injured workers have been transferred to hospitals in Belgrade with severe burns, while others remain unaccounted for, RTS said. The broadcaster added that the warehouse was completely destroyed, leaving a crater in the ground.

Police said the blaze has been localized and residents in the area are safe.

mvb, rc/rs (AP, Reuters)

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