Parts of the Serbian city of Cacak are being evacuated after an explosion hit a local ammunition plant, setting it on fire. A similar blast caused major damage to the facility around two weeks earlier.
“Due to the explosion at the Sloboda facility, it is necessary to urgently evacuate all citizens living in the vicinity of the factory. The place of evacuation is the city stadium,” Cacak Mayor Milun Todorovic announced on social media on Saturday evening, as flames were ripping through the factory and reportedly began spreading to nearby territory.
The ‘Sloboda’ (Freedom) plant, southwest of Cacak, was shaken by a powerful blast around 8pm local time, which was followed by another, smaller one, according to Serbian TV.
One female and two male workers suffered injuries in the blast, reportedly from the shattered glass, and were transported to hospital.
Footage shared on social media show a raging blaze and thick smoke billowing from the site.
Explosions rocked the plant of Serbian ammunition manufacturer Sloboda in the city of Cacak. pic.twitter.com/ocniJcfipy
Au kakva eksplozija iz pravca slobode? pic.twitter.com/vpY7sNGZSN
The incident on Saturday marks the second time in less than a month that the factory was hit by a powerful explosion. On June 4, a series of blasts rocked the plant, and evacuation was ordered for nearby houses. While the explosions continued for several days, no one was injured in the incident. At the time, Serbian President Aleksandar Vucic estimated the cost of damage caused by the blast at up to €2 million ($2.4 million).
Founded in 1948, Sloboda employs around 2,500 workers and specializes in the production of tank and artillery shells, as well as several types of rocket-propelled anti-tank weapons. It also produces some home appliances.
The factory was crippled during the 1999 NATO bombing campaign over Kosovo, but has been rebuilt since.
Subscribe to RT newsletter to get stories the mainstream media won’t tell you.