A blast at an Azerbaijani arms plant
Two people were killed as the result of an explosion of ammunition which was intended for disposal at the arms plant in Shirvan. It took about 7 hours to confirm this fact officially.
At 04:10 p.m., some media outlets and news agencies (APA, Trend, Turan etc.) released the joint statement of the Ministry of Interior, the Ministry of Emergency Situations and the Prosecutor General’s Office of Azerbaijan, reporting that there was an explosion at 3:30p.m. in the disposal area of the Azat plant of the Ministry of Defence Industry (MDI) of Azerbaijan.
Initially, the Defence and Health Ministries reported that no one had been killed and that only 6 people had been injured. Later, at 5:55 p.m., the number of those injured reached 20, but there were still no reports of any deaths.
According to the APA news agency’s report at 6:26 p.m. referring to its correspondent at the scene of the incident, sounds from the explosion could still be heard and smoke observed, fragments of projectiles were scattered all around and ambulances were on the scene, taking the injured to various hospitals. Overall, 20 people had been taken to hospital by that time.
Yver Jamalov, the Minister of Defence Industry; Faiq Taghi-zade and Etibar Mirzayev, Deputies of the Minister of Emergency Situations, as well as Rustam Usubov, First Deputy Prosecutor General, were at the scene of the incident.
The agency 1news reported at 8:39 p.m. that the Grave Crimes Investigation Department of the Prosecutor General’s Office had instituted criminal proceedings under Articles 223.2 (violation of safety rules at explosive facilities, resulting in serious consequences) and 314.2 (negligence, resulting in serious consequences) of the Criminal Code of Azerbaijan. According to early data, the blast occurred at the disposal area of the arms plant, while old ammunition was being prepared for disposal.
The Defence Ministry stated at 9:40 p.m. that there were no military casualties.
It was only at 10p.m. that the Ministry of Defence Industry reported on the death of two persons- Mammad Agamir Oglu Allahyarov and Ilhama Asker Gizi Nuriyeva,
Half-full and half-empty
Pro-governmental and independent news agencies present the news differently. For instance, the front page of the websites Meydan.tv and, especially, Contact.az mainly focus on the situation at the plant.
Meanwhile, Trend.az, Day.az and 1news.az are mainly emphasize the positive side of the situation.
It’s symptomatic that 1news.az presented the morning news on the situation at the plant with the headline: “Four people, injured in a blast at the MDI’s arms plant, discharged from hospital.
The Turan news agency reported the following early on July 27: “There has been no comprehensive information on how to deal with the consequence of the blast so far.
According to reports on social media, the situation has not been brought under full control and rescuers could not enter the plant territory due to the risk of exploding ammunition. According to these same sources, there could be some other people in the plant and their fate is unclear.
Natik Jafarli, an economist, states:
“Azerbaijan needs the defense industry, not the Ministry of Defense Industry. This empty, overmanned, meaningless institution, enjoying ministry status, is a waste of state budget funds. The defense industry, for example, could be a small department at the Ministry of Economy. It’s not the first time that such tragedies occur at the Shirvan plant, which shows that the problem lies within the organization itself, but, at the same time, there is no one to bear responsibility for it. May those who died rest in peace, and I wish a speedy recovery to those who have been affected by this emergency situation.”
Response on social media
Facebook users’ reactions were overly restrained, as if there was nothing to discuss:
“Disposal by using explosions is environmentally hazardous. No one is insured against that.
“Waste should be disposed on landfills, rather than in the territory that the company is operating on, also being within a kilometer of a residential area.
“Who is going to believe the bullshit they are telling us?
“More and more of these kinds of cases will occur as long as there are a lack of professionals in top positions in the administrative institutions.
“Well, we’ll once again put a flag on the avatars, will grieve a little bit, will resent them and then in a month everything will be over.
It seems that this time everything was over in two days.