russian factory
An explosion has hit one of the biggest Russian munitions factories in the Nizhny Novgorod region, reportedly killing at least three people and injuring several more. Some may still be trapped under rubble.

"We have discovered three dead in the rubble," the local emergency services chief said after what the Sverdlov plant in Dzerzhinsk said was a "bang" at one of its mines' disposal facilities. The official said that a part of the wall collapsed and it is too early to say whether any staff remain under the debris.

At least four people were injured in the accident, according to Interfax, citing the local governor. Earlier, Russian media reported that five people were sent to hospital, including a woman with 80 percent burns to her body.

It is thought ammonal explosive caused a blast in one of the workshops of the Sverdlov plant, and a fire engulfed an area of around 100 square meters. The blaze was completely extinguished by firefighters at around 1pm local time (10:30am GMT).

The Sverdlov plant is more than 100 years old and is currently one of the biggest munitions facilities in Russia, located around 400 km (249 miles) from Moscow. It produces industrial explosives, detonators and booster leads for the mining industry.