The explosions lasted for a week, tossing debris as far as 25 miles away, destroying buildings in a two-mile radius, and forcing the evacuation of thousands of nearby residents. Red-hot shrapnel set off additional fires in nearby towns and ruptured a minor gas pipeline. Total damage from the smoke break was estimated at $750 million.
Miraculously, only one of the soldiers at the arsenal died in the disaster. Six soldiers were charged with "grossly neglecting the fire safety rules and smoking on the ammunition site."
[Sidebar: News accounts report five people killed by explosions, but only two as smokers. The nomination would be disqualified if innocent bystanders were injured. But an AP article said four died from "health problems aggravated by the stress of the disaster." Novosti said six soldiers were charged with causing the fire, rather than two, and the only direct death was a guard at the facility. It's not clear if the guard was also smoking, or if the other four deaths were caused by the explosions or simply ill health. Therefore, I am tentatively calling this a Darwin Award, despite minor misgivings.]
"Smoking is bad for you. Secondary smoke may be worse.
"Ik zei toch dat roken dodelijk is..."
"nicht zur nachahmung empfohlen"
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Submitted by: Robert J Boyce
Reference: Reuters, AP, Novosti