Locals heard a loud explosion and saw a mushroom cloud near the manufacturing facility, which develops and produces rocket systems used by the IDF.
By Lauren Marcus, World Israel News
A massive explosion was reported at the state-owned Tomer military weapons factory on Tuesday, near the central Israel city of Ramle. No casualties were reported.
Locals heard a loud explosion and saw plumes of smoke and a mushroom cloud near the manufacturing facility, which develops and produces rocket systems used by the IDF.
In a statement to Haaretz, Tomer said the explosion had occurred during a routine test.
“This was a controlled test with no exceptional circumstances,” the Defense Ministry-affiliated company said.
Defense officials are now reportedly investigating what caused the explosion, and if procedures within the facility were properly followed.
انفجار غامض منذ قليل شمالي اسرائيل pic.twitter.com/Z8ifNZAyij
— إيدي كوهين אדי כהן 🇮🇱 (@EdyCohen) April 20, 2021
In 2018, Tomer was established as a state-owned military technology company when the Israeli government decided to privatize the formerly government-owned company Israeli Military Industries Systems.
Fearing that private investors would gain access to sensitive data held by IMI, the government established Tomer as a workaround, according to Calcalist.
Tomer received a $290 million stipend from the Defense Ministry in 2019, and reported sales of $94 million the same year.
“We achieved all our work plans in our first year,” the company’s CEO Mordechai Ben-Ami told Calcalist in June 2020.
“Even during the times of the coronavirus, the company reorganized in a very short timeframe to work in shifts while maintaining social distancing and all the regulations.”
According to Tomer’s site, the company specializes in rocket motors for artillery rockets used in naval and land defense, satellite launchers for space missions, rocket engines for Arrow 2, Arrow 3 interceptors, and Silver Sparrow target systems used in air defense.
Some 550 scientists, engineers, physicists, chemists, and other professionals are employed by Tomer.