There was an explosion at a BAE Systems weapons manufacturing site in Glascoed, Monmouthshire in South Wales at around 10:49 a.m. local time on Wednesday, April 17.

BAE Systems is the UK’s largest arms manufacturer that supplies weapons, ammunition and defense equipment to militaries worldwide, including many of the NATO-standard artillery and air defense systems as well as infantry fighting vehicles (IFVs) that Kyiv’s Western allies have donated to Ukraine.

Local politician David Davies said the incident took place “in a remote part of the site that had been set aside to take apart shells,” an operation he said that comes with “a small risk,” but the incident posed no threat to the general public.

“The explosion did not cause any injuries; evacuation procedures were immediately instigated and everything was thoroughly checked.

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“I am told there is always a small risk involved in this particular operation, which is exactly why it is carried out with remote control in a restricted area of the site,” said Davies.

As reported in the Welsh media outlet Abergavenny Chronicle, BAE Systems representatives said “tried and tested safety protocols were immediately enacted and emergency services attended the site.” Adding that “a full investigation has been launched.”

There are no indications of foul play at the time of publication.

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In February this year, BAE Systems opened its first office in Kyiv, after the corporation established a joint venture with a local company to repair military equipment and later expand into production.

“We have a phased process in which we will do repairs on Ukrainian soil, and in the future, we will move to local production. We have teamed up with a local partner to achieve this goal,” said Christian Sayre, CEO of BAE Systems Ukraine, at a conference earlier this year.

The day before the BAE Systems fire, firefighters responded to a fire at the ammunition manufacturer General Dynamics, in Scranton Pennsylvania due to a fire that reportedly had started along the production line of the aging US factory.

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In November 2023, a Bulgarian arms manufacturer sounded the alarm over continuous Russian sabotage against its arms manufacturing facilities – including causing multiple explosions – and alleged Russian infiltration into Bulgaria’s government.

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