One Killed, Three Missing In Sellier & Bellot Ammo Plant Explosion

A news channel in the Czech Republic is reporting that one person is confirmed dead and three are missing as the result of a gunpowder explosion at the Sellier & Bellot ammunition plant in Vlasim, 60 kilometers (37 miles) southeast of Prague.


The Google machine translation of the article is an abomination, but from what we can determine, workers were moving gun powder from a production building to a storage facility when it detonated.

A specialized hazmat firefighting unit has been brought in the secure the scene so that rescue and recovery operations can proceed.

Sellier & Bellot have been in business since 1825, and the 1,400 employee company serves a global market of 80 countries, with two-thirds of their product going to the civilian ammunition market. Sellier & Bellot ammunition is popular among shooters in the United States. 30-percent of their civilian ammunition is sold to the United States.

It is unknown at this time how much damage was done to the facility, and how long the plant will be shut down.

The last fatal accident at this facility was in 2003, when mercury fulminate used in primers detonated, killing one employee and injuring another.


Ammunition plant explosions are thankfully rare and relatively small thanks to modern safety practices, but they still occur. An explosion in 2014 at PB Clarmont in Belgium sent the entire global ammunition market scrambling for rifle powder, an effect which is finally starting to subside. Domestically, a Rio Ammunition plant exploded near Nashville, TN last year, killing one employee and injuring three more.

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