An explosion took place at the Mesko arms plant in Poland that produces the kinds of weapons and munitions in use with the Ukrainian military on Monday, June 10, with casualties reported.

The incident, which killed a 59-year-old man and injured another man, took place at the factory’s rocket fuel center, the plant’s president Elżbieta Śreniawska told Polish news outlet RMF FM.

“We have an explosion at the rocket fuel center, which was put into operation a few years ago,” said Śreniawska, adding that the plant is investigating the incident since “everything is monitored there.”

Jarosław Gwóźdź, press officer of the Skarżysko police, also told RMF FM that authorities are conducting an investigation to establish the circumstances around the incident.

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The incident took place in Skarżysko Kamienna, a city located halfway between Warsaw and Krakow.

According to the plant’s site, it produces different calibers of munitions, including 122mm and 152mm artillery rounds, as well as both air and ground-launched rockets and missiles used by the Polish military. 

It also produces the Grom and Piorun man-portable air-defense system (MANPAD) Poland has previously donated to Ukraine, as well as numerous ammunitions compatible with the weapons in use by Ukrainian forces.

However, it’s not immediately clear if the weapons and munitions from the Mesko arms plant continue to make their way into Ukraine after former Prime Minister Mateusz Morawiecki suspended weapon transfers to Ukraine in September 2023.

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There’s been no public announcement of Polish weapon transfers to Ukraine after Morawiecki’s announcement, though Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky mentioned a “new military aid package for Ukraine” in January following his meeting with Polish Prime Minister Donald Tusk, with another Polish defense official announcing an upcoming military aid package for Ukraine in late May.

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It’s also not clear if Russian sabotage, which is not unheard of, is to blame for the latest explosion.

A recent investigative report by The Insider established that a couple in Czechia, employed by Russian intelligence, was involved in coordinating the ammunition depot explosions in 2014 in Czechia among other high-profile espionage cases; In November 2023, the owner of Bulgarian arms manufacturer Emco accused Moscow of staging multiple explosions at his facilities over the years.

In April, Kyiv Post reported an explosion at a BAE Systems weapons manufacturing site in South Wales, though there was no indication of foul play.

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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