At least 12 Russian soldiers were killed and eight were injured by an explosion at a training facility in southern Russia, local media reported Thursday, citing three anonymous government sources.
The soldiers were reportedly killed in an accidental explosion on Nov. 3 at the Kuzmin military training ground in the Rostov region, the 161.ru news website wrote, adding that Russia’s Investigative Committee had launched a probe into the incident.
“About 20 people from [the marine brigade] lit a fire next to stocks of ammunition during their lunch break. An RPG-7 grenade launcher shell rolled into the fire and exploded,” 161.ru quoted one government source as saying.
Four of the soldiers who perished were said to have survived the initial blast but later died from their injuries at the hospital.
Neither Russia’s Defense Ministry nor the Investigative Committee have commented on the reported explosion.
All of the servicemen killed were said to have been marines from the Primorye region of Russia's Far East.
According to one of 161.ru’s sources, the top brass of Russia’s Pacific Fleet traveled to the Kuzmin military training ground following the deadly explosion, but the exact purpose of their visit was not specified.
The Rostov region neighbors Ukraine and its regional capital Rostov-on-Don houses the command post for the war in Ukraine.
The Moscow Times could not independently verify 161.ru’s report.