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Missile accident kills 1 in India
The Associated Press
HYDERABAD, India (January 4, 2001 9:55 a.m. EST http://www.nandotimes.com) - One worker was killed and 10 injured Thursday when a short-range missile exploded as workers prepared to display the weapon before India's defense secretary, officials said.
Secretary Yogendra Narain was not injured when the missile blew up and a fire broke out at the state-owned Bharat Dynamics Ltd. Narain was observing the demonstration from a distance.
V.N. Chary, a quality control inspector, died instantly after being hit by shrapnel, officials said. Workers with burns and shrapnel injuries were taken to a nearby hospital.
General Manager Prabhakar Rao, who was explaining the working of the missile to the visitors, was also in hospital undergoing treatment for shock following the explosion. Officials refused to give details on the extent of damage or whether the fire had been put out.
The gates to the facility were shut and almost all the 3,000 employees were asked to vacate the complex. Journalists were not allowed in, and officials were asked not to speak to them. A probe was ordered into the cause of the explosion.
Bharat Dynamics, one of India's key defense equipment production units, is spread over a sprawling estate in a southeastern suburb of Hyderabad, the Andhra Pradesh state capital.
The unit collaborates with a design laboratory of India's Defense Research and Development Organization to manufacture key components required for India's ambitious missile program.
-- Rachel Gibson (email@example.com), January 04, 2001