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Explosion at Shoebury MoD site now being investigated
6:10am Tuesday 8th October 2013 in News
AN EXPLOSION at a firing range in Shoebury in which four weapons testers had to be taken to safety, is being investigated.
The blast happened at about 11am on Saturday at the Ministry of Defence site in Black Gate Road, with the explosion leading to a fire.
No one was hurt, but four weapons testers were taken to safety from a bunker in an armoured vehicle. Thirty firefighters remained on standby outside the base.
About 10kg of explosives were in the area during the blast, but it is unconfirmed whether it caused the explosion.
Qinetiq which operates the site on behalf of the MoD, claimed the blast took place in a controlled environment while testing was carried out. A spokesman for the firm said: “As part of routine in-service testing conducted on behalf of the MoD, a planned and remotely controlled test took place at MoD Shoebury on Saturday.
“A contained fire occurred at one of the environmental test centre buildings on site following the test. No one was injured. An investigation is under way.”
The spokesman added the building the blast took place in had 1m thick walls.
The Health and Safety Executive confirmed its officials were not called.
Fire crews from Shoebury, Leigh, and Southend remained on standby for almost four hours while specialist crews dealt with the incident.
An Essex Fire and Rescue spokesman said: “Four weapons testers were taken to safety by MoD officers in an armoured personnel carrier. Firefighters left the scene in the care of the owners, by 2.45pm
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