The blast occurred at the site of the Elastik factory, inside the workshop where gunpowder is produced.
According to the Ministry of Emergency Situations of the Russian Federation, the urgent call was received at 08:22 local time. More than 160 rescuers and firefighters were involved in the fire extinguishing mission alongside with attempts to find the injured, which were preliminary reported to have remained roughly 10 at that moment.
It was reported that the fire of 160 sq.m. had been localised by 09:31.
All of the perished were employees at the fabric. Some three hours later the list of those who had to take over a shift was revealed. It included 17 people, 16 of them died at the scene and the remaining one considered to be hospitalized, according to Izvestiya news agency.
The Investigative Committee of Russia has started a probe regarding accident. The preliminary version of the accident is violation in the technological process in the workshop.