Military optics plant near Moscow rocked by powerful explosions

In Sergiev Posad, Moscow Region, an explosion occurred on the territory of the Zagorskiy Optiko-Mekhanicheskiy Pkant (ZOMZ), reports the Russian news agency TASS, citing a source in the emergency services.

"The explosion occurred in the territory of the Zagorsk Optical and Mechanical Plant near the boiler house. Windows were shattered by the blast wave in several buldings in different parts of the city, " the agency's interlocutor said.

The Russian authorities said that the evacuation of all buildings and workshops, including leased ones, had been announced. The emergency services said that the explosion, according to preliminary data, was not caused by a drone. According to the Russian Ministry of Emergency Situations, 25 people were injured in the explosion.

According to TASS, the explosion occurred in a warehouse with pyrotechnics and was caused by a "human factor". The local administration said that the explosion happened due to a violation of safety procedures. According to the Telegram channel Mash, the explosion occurred at the pyrotechnics warehouse of the company Piro-Ross, which is leasing the commercial space in the territory of the plant. At the same time, the Telegram channel 112 writes that, according to preliminary data, the explosion occurred due to a drone hit.

Military analyst Ruslan Leviev pointed out that the orange tint of smoke, which can be seen in the videos, usually indicates a presence of nitrate. However, there is most likely nothing related to nitrate at ZOMZ, he added.

ZOMZ is part of the Shvabe holding of the Rostec State Corporation. According to data from the plant's website, among the products produced by the plant are medical devices and laboratory equipment. However, some of the plant's products are used by the military. In 2021, the plant presented binoculars created specifically for the Russian Navy. The plant also manufactures rifle sights.

In addition, in 2018, the plant presented to the Russian Defense Ministry a laser radiation detection system. As stated on the Shvabe website, it is intended for use by the Navy on small-sized vessels, amphibious reconnaissance boats, corvette-class ships, and missile systems.

The Telegram channel Mash reports that at least 10 houses around ZOMZ were damaged, and even interior partitions were destroyed in some buildings.

According to eyewitnesses, ceilings were crumbling in offices buildings nearby. A kindergarten was also evacuated. 

The governor of the Moscow region, Andrei Vorobyov, said that the plant in Sergiev Posad, where the explosion occurred, has nothing to do with optics. According to Vorobyov, the plant has been producing pyrotechnics for quite some time.

  Moscow, Russia