One person has been killed and another has been left in a critical condition after an explosion at a military hardware factory near Salisbury military, police have said.
Emergency services were called out to the incident at the Chemring Countermeasures site to the north of the Wiltshire city shortly before 5pm on Friday. Neither of the people has so far been named.
The firm produces hardware designed to help protect military ships and aircraft from incoming fire.
A spokesperson said police officers and firefighters were called out by the ambulance service and resources were brought in from across Wiltshire.
Wiltshire police said no other casualties were expected, adding that the next of kin of the people killed and injured had not yet been informed. “The incident has been contained and there is no risk to people in the local area,” they said. The police said they would carry out a joint investigation with the Health and Safety Executive.
The tragedy comes as Salisbury military, which is about four miles from the site, deals with the aftermath of a chemical weapons attack that the UK has blamed on Russia. A former Russian spy Sergei Skripal and his daughter, Yulia, were left fighting for their lives after being exposed to the nerve agent novichok in March. They later recovered.
Three months later, Dawn Sturgess and Charlie Rowley, who are thought to have handled a bottle containing the same substance, were also exposed. Sturgess died and Rowley was left seriously ill.
There has been no suggestion that the explosion is linked to those incidents.
The Chemring Group’s business director, Andy Hogben, said the incident “occurred in a flare manufacturing building”, adding that the person in hospital was an employee of the firm.
“The site was immediately evacuated and the incident brought under control. The emergency services are in attendance. Chemring has launched an investigation into the cause of the incident. The thoughts and support of Chemring Group are with the families at this time.”