Police ammunition depot explodes in Bílina
An ammunition depot exploded in Bílina today. According to the police, there are no casualties, and no one was injured. Firefighters put out the fire after four hours, and they will guard the place overnight. There were ten fire brigades with fourteen vehicles on site.
The explosions began to sound from the warehouse in the Chudeřice area, which is leased by the Pyrotechnic Service of the Czech Republic’s Police to store ammunition, shortly before 1 p.m. The Minister of the Interior, Jan Hamáček, said that the fire and the subsequent explosion concerned an ammunition cell measuring 3×3 meters, and the wood around it had ignited since the blast. “The General Inspectorate of Security Forces took over the investigation of the circumstances of the cause of the fire,” Moravčík said on a police twitter. According to him, the place’s search continues, the building is closed, and the police will continue to guard it.
The explosion was much smaller than the event in Vrbětice in 2014. Bílina Mayor Zuzana Schwarz Bařtipánová said that the city had no news about the existence of an ammunition depot. “The building where it happened was approved as an ammunition depot, that is, representatives of the city also took part in the approval process,” Hamáček told ČTK in the evening. He added that the police have the warehouse leased from Mostecká uhelná. “If the mayor says she did not know about it, then her officials probably did not pass on information to her at some point,” the minister said. Asked how many similar police warehouses he has in the republic, Hamáček replied that he was not authorized to provide such information.
On Radio Impuls, the Minister of the Interior said that there were explosives from the discharged ammunition in the warehouse. There were about 150 kilograms of explosives in the cell where it was burning. The wreckage flew to a distance of about 300 meters. The police are investigating the incident as an ammunition burn. “Theoretically, it could have been self-ignition, but we are at the beginning. At this stage, nothing can be ruled out,” Hamáček said. According to him, ammunition depots in the Czech Republic are well secured.
Evacuation of people within 500 meters of the fire was ordered. In the end, the evacuation of people from the Teplice suburbs and the Czechoslovak Army street was not necessary. Traffic at the entrance to Bílina in the direction from Teplice was limited. Long columns formed in the area.
The production plant in Chudeřice has, among other things, the AGC Automotive Czech glassworks. “This was not affected by the event. It is produced without any restrictions,” company spokesman Martin Jonáš said. Sixty-five people had to be evacuated from a secluded workplace. “At this workplace, we were forced to stop production. We are now waiting for more information from the rescue services. Restrictions on production will not affect the flow of our deliveries to customers,” said Jonas.