A woman working at the Cugir Arms Factory was reportedly killed in an explosion and subsequent fire on the 12th November. The Romanian factory is a state-owned company which produces various firearms including WASR semiautomatic AKs and the Micro Draco AK pistols.
The Cugir factory, in western Romania, is a subsidiary of ROMARM, Romania’s main state-owned defense company. The factory itself was first founded in 1799 and most recently has produced variants of Soviet-pattern firearms such as the PM md.63/65. Today the factory continues to produce AK-pattern rifles, a 9x19mm pistol, a 9x19mm submachine gun, a number of heavy machine guns and ammunition of various calibres. The factory employs around 1,000 people.
The Associated Press state that an explosion occurred in a weapons testing tunnel beneath the factory. The explosion caused a fire which took firefighters two hours to extinguish. A shift of 19 people was reported to have been working in the tunnel at the time of the explosion. Initially, all were evacuated but a 50-year-old female employee reportedly returned to retrieve her handbag. Her body was found after the fire was put out.
The factory built a number of firearms imported by Florida-based Century Arms. A press release from Century Arms, issued 14th November, responded to the tragic news:
Century Arms, America’s leading AK manufacturer and importer of classic firearms, is saddened to learn of a recent event at a factory of one of the company’s sourcing partners in Cugir, Romania. This factory produced a number of firearms imported by Century Arms including the popular WASR rifles and Micro Draco pistols.
While the company has a small quantity in stock, future delivery status of these products is uncertain. We support our Romanian partners in this tragic loss and time of need.
Intriguingly, Cugir’s website has a short statement regarding the explosion which suggests the accident did not occur at the factory:
DISCLAIMER: The event on November 12, around 11:00, which was mentioned in the press, did not take place at the Cugir Mechanical Plant Company. We mention that the Cugir Mechanical Works Company operates in normal conditions. – Leadership.
TFB has reached out to the Cugir Arms Factory for further comment on the matter.