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Perm singed as fiery mushroom cloud erupts from gunpowder factory explosion, injuring at least four in large central Russian city

A criminal case has been initiated by investigators in the central Russian city of Perm after a colossal explosion at a gunpowder factory injured workers and sent emergency personnel scrambling to fight the blaze.

The fire started in the early hours of Thursday, local authorities report. According to the Ministry of Emergency Situations, more than 60 rescuers raced to the scene to extinguish the flames.

The press service of the local health department told journalists that three men had been injured and sent for treatment at a specialist burns center. A fourth was treated by ambulance crews on site because he refused to be hospitalized.

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Footage of the bright flash and plumes of smoke rising into the night sky were shared widely online. Now, authorities are working to understand how the incident began and whether anyone is criminally liable.

Since 2016, at least four emergencies are reportedly known to have occurred at the FKP Perm Gunpowder plant. Four people are said to have died in that period, and dozens have been injured.

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