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Huge explosions rock Serbia munitions factory, forcing evacuation

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An explosion early on Friday at a military factory in central Serbia has forced evacuations of workers and citizens living in the vicinity.
An explosion early on Friday at a military factory in central Serbia has forced evacuations of workers and citizens living in the vicinity.   -   Copyright  Epicentar Press, Video production Bus plus
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A series of explosions have rocked a military munitions factory in central Serbia, forcing the evacuation of nearby residents.

The blasts occurred at an ammunition depot of the Sloboda factory in Čačak, about 140 kilometres south of Belgrade, on Friday.

The explosions set off a series of detonations and caused a huge fire that lit the night sky above the town.

No injuries have so far been reported in the incident, but several workers and residents were evacuated in the immediate panic. Police say they have sealed off the area, and blocked roads into Čačak.

It was not immediately clear what caused the explosion. Serbia's Interior Minister Aleksandar Vulin said in a statement that the situation is "under control" and "everything is safe".

All sixty workers at the factory were unhurt, Vulin added.

"We were lucky the explosion didn’t take place in the production halls," Čačak Mayor Milun Todorovic told state RTS television.

Officials say firefighters will be able to go into the factory 24 hours after the last detonation to assess the situation.

The plant at Sloboda was targeted and badly damaged during the NATO bombing campaign of Serbia in 1999.